Informaitonal 1 - January 20th, 2009 Development of...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
January 20 th , 2009 Development of Diagnostic Methods Biopsy – Biopsy A patient's history, physical exam, and imaging test results may strongly suggest pancreatic cancer, but the only way to be sure is to remove a small sample of tumor and look at it under the microscope. This procedure is called a biopsy . There are several types of biopsies. The procedure used most often to diagnose pancreatic cancer is called a fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy . For this test, a doctor inserts a thin needle through the skin and into the pancreas. The doctor uses CT scan images or endoscopic ultrasonography to view the position of the needle and make sure that it is in the tumor. Doctors can also biopsy the tumor by using the endoscopic ultrasound to place the needle directly through the wall of the duodenum into the tumor. In either case, small tissue samples can be removed through the needle. The main advantages of the test are that the patient does not require general anesthesia (is not "asleep") during the test, and major side effects are rare. In the past, surgical biopsies were performed more commonly. This type of biopsy requires a laparotomy (a large incision through the skin into the wall of the abdomen to examine internal organs). Areas that look or feel abnormal can be sampled by removing a small portion of tissue with a scalpel or a needle. The surgeon may use a thin needle (as in a fine needle aspiration biopsy). More commonly, surgeons use a wider needle that removes a cylindrical core of tissue about 1/2 inch long and less than 1/8 inch in diameter (called a core needle biopsy ). The main drawback of this type of biopsy is that the patient must have general anesthesia and remain in the hospital for a period of time to recover. Laparotomy is now rarely recommended. Doctors prefer to use laparoscopy (sometimes called keyhole surgery) as a way of looking at and perhaps taking a piece of the pancreas with a biopsy. Patients are usually sedated for this procedure. The surgeon makes several small incisions in the abdomen and inserts small telescope-like instruments into the abdominal cavity. One of these is usually connected to a video monitor. The surgeon can view the abdomen and see how big the tumor is and whether it has spread, and may take tissue samples as well. Most doctors who treat pancreatic cancer try to avoid surgery unless imaging tests suggest that an operation might be able to remove all of the visible cancer. Even after doing imaging tests and laparoscopy, there are times when the surgeon begins an operation with the intent of removing the cancer but finds during surgery that it has spread too far to be removed completely. In these cases, a sample of the cancer is taken only to confirm the diagnosis, and the rest of the planned operation is stopped. Imaging –
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 03/08/2010 for the course CHEMISTRY 1310 taught by Professor Williams during the Spring '10 term at Georgia Institute of Technology.

Page1 / 6

Informaitonal 1 - January 20th, 2009 Development of...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online