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Pancreatic Cancer Specialist

Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC

Gastroenterology and Endoscopy located in Peoria, AZ & Scottsdale, AZ

Pancreatic cancer is called a silent disease because it doesn’t cause significant symptoms early in the disease course and lacks early screening tests. When you need an accurate diagnosis or treatment to relieve a cancer-related blockage, you can depend on the compassionate and experienced care provided by Teodor Pitea, MD, and Rawad Mounzer, MD, at Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC in Peoria, Scottsdale, or Phoenix, Arizona. At the first sign of jaundice or abdominal pain, schedule an assessment. Call the nearest office or book an appointment online today.

Pancreatic Cancer Q&A

What types of pancreatic cancer can I develop?

You can develop two types of pancreatic cancer:

Exocrine tumors

Most pancreatic cancers develop in exocrine cells which produce digestive enzymes.

Endocrine tumors

Endocrine tumors account for about 6% of all pancreatic cancers. This type of tumor develops in cells that produce hormones. Functioning endocrine tumors continue to produce hormones.

What symptoms develop if I have pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer seldom causes symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage. At that point, you may experience:

  • Yellow skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Itchy skin
  • Dark urine
  • Clay-colored stool
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Pain in the abdomen or back
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss

You may also have symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.

How do endoscopic procedures diagnose and treat pancreatic cancer?

The team at Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC specializes in three procedures that diagnose and treat complications of pancreatic cancer:

Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)

During EUS, your provider inserts an endoscope — a long, narrow, flexible tube — into your mouth. Using the endoscope’s camera, they guide the scope down your throat, through your stomach, and into the first part of the small intestine.

From the small intestine, an ultrasound probe in the tip of the endoscope sends out sound waves. The sound waves bounce off the pancreas and return to the probe; then, a computer translates the information into highly detailed images that reveal pancreatic tumors.

Endoscopic ultrasound with fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA)

When you need a biopsy, you may avoid exploratory surgery with a minimally invasive EUS-FNA. For this procedure, the team at Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC use a special needle that is passed through the endoscope and used to obtain tissue from the pancreas.

After guiding the endoscope down your esophagus, your provider at Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC inserts the needle into the pancreas by going through the stomach or small intestine wall. They use the needle to withdraw a sample of pancreatic tissue. The biopsy goes to the lab, where a pathologist examines the sample for cancer cells.

Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

Your provider guides an endoscope into the upper part of your small intestine. After inserting a catheter through the endoscope, they inject a dye into the pancreatic and/or bile duct. The dye makes the duct system show up on diagnostic X-rays.

When pancreatic cancer blocks the ducts, causing a buildup of bile, your provider can use ERCP to insert a stent that bypasses the blockage.

If you need a diagnostic procedure or biopsy for pancreatic cancer, call Interventional Endoscopy Associates PLLC or book an appointment online today.