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Pancreatic Cysts-To Treat or Not?

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Precancerous pancreatic cysts is a benign tumor that has the potential to progress to pancreatic cancer over the course of years.

Dear David- I have pancreatic cysts. One was growing rapidly. Two doctors wanted me to have an endoscopy to see if it was cancer.I didn’t want an invasive endoscopy. They are risky. Finally one doctor suggested that
I wait 6 months, and if an MRI showed cyst was still growing, go ahead with the endoscopy.

At that point, I radically altered my diet. No more sugar. I started taking things like bitter melon extract with water, raw garlic and probiotics. 6 months later, the MRI showed that the cyst had stopped growing.
The doctor was shocked, and said that I didn’t have to have another MRI for a year.

Then, his office called and said that he still wanted the endoscopy. supposedly there were tiny (I cant remember the name) growths that may indicate cancer. Altho they are common on cysts.
I resisted, and once again, they reluctantly gave 6 more months, then an MRI.
I really do not want any kind of invasive surgery or chemo.

Do you have any thoughts on this issue?

Thanks greatly for running such a good website.


Recommended Reading:

Hi Jennifer-

It is an interesting scenario that you bring up. Several things.
Firstly, according to the article linked and excerpted below, only one or two percent of pancreatic cysts are cancerous.  Other cysts may be pre-cancerous and should be monitored which is what you are doing. Great.
Secondly, several studies I found seem to find that endoscopy of pancreatic cysts are
  •  not conclusive for pancreatic cancer but are usually successful. I am not trying to talk you into a procedure you don’t want to have. I am simply saying that there don’t seem to be any negative risks with endoscopies.
My thoughts on your situation is while endoscopic testing will give your doctors more info to go on, that endoscopic testing will not fully answer the question of whether or not your cysts are pre cancer or are metastatic.
I have to say however, that I believe you efforts to reduce your risk of PC, according to the last article below, is possible. Good luck. Let me know if you have any other questions.

David Emerson
  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Do Pancreatic Cysts Become Cancerous?

Do pancreatic cysts become cancerous?

Most cysts are not – less than 1-2 percent of pancreatic cysts are cancerous. However, some may be considered precancerous.

What does it mean if a pancreatic cyst is precancerous?

A precancerous pancreatic cyst is a benign tumor that has the potential to progress to pancreatic cancer over the course of years.

What should you do if you have a pancreatic cyst?

It is critical that patients with pancreatic cysts seek out clinicians who have extensive experience with pancreatic tumors and pancreatic pathology. The clinician will look at certain features in each cyst, such as the size and the presence of any solid components. They will also take into consideration the cysts’ growth rate over years when making a decision on whether surgery is needed.

How should these cysts be treated?

Most pancreatic cysts are not treated. In fact, patients may be at an increased risk for overtreatment at this condition. For the vast majority, proper treatment is continued observation by an experienced clinician. For some patients, surgery may be recommended after monitoring the cysts with a CT scan, MRI or endoscopic ultrasound. Often the cysts can be removed through a minimally invasive surgical approach.

Pancreatic Cyst Fluid Analysis: Predictor of Malignancy?

“Can analysis of the fluid within a pancreatic cyst help decisions regarding whether an intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN) is likely to be malignant? A multicenter study, published in Annals of Surgery , was based on 149 operated patients stratified by clinical, radiographic, and pathologic findings into a high-risk group where high-grade dysplasia or invasive cancer was present (n = 60) or a low-risk group (n = 89).[1]

Prevention and treatment of pancreatic cancer by curcumin in combination with omega-3 fatty acids

“Pancreatic cancer BxPC-3 cells were exposed to curcumin, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), or combinations of both and analyzed for proliferation and apoptosis. Pancreatic tumor xenografts were established by injecting BxPC-3 cells into each flank of nude mice. After the tumors reached a size of approximately 190-200 mm(3), animals were fed diets with or without 2,000 ppm curcumin in 18% corn oil or 15% fish oil + 3% corn oil for 6 more wk before assessing the tumor volume and expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygeanse-2 (COX-2), 5-lipoxinase (5-LOX), and p21.

A synergistic effect was observed on induction of apoptosis (approximately sixfold) and inhibition of cell proliferation (approximately 70%) when cells were treated with curcumin (5 microM) together with the DHA (25 microM). Mice fed fish oil and curcumin showed a significantly reduced tumor volume, 25% (P < 0.04) and 43% (P < 0.005), respectively, and importantly, a combination of curcumin and fish oil diet showed > 72% (P < 0.0001) tumor volume reduction.

Expression and activity of iNOS, COX-2, and 5-LOX are downregulated, and p21 is upregulated in tumor xenograft fed curcumin combined with fish oil diet when compared to individual diets. The preceding results evidence for the first time that curcumin combined with omega-3 fatty acids provide synergistic pancreatic tumor inhibitory properties…”


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C-B-D Enhances Chemo for Pancreatic Cancer - PeopleBeatingCancer says 5 years ago

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