Cysts are abnormal membrane sacs in the body that contain fluid. The pancreas is an essential organ since it produces enzymes that play a role in digestion. It also secretes insulin that regulates metabolism.
It’s rare for cysts to form in the pancreas and if they do, they are typically noncancerous. Cysts often originate from different conditions, such as inflammation, and their treatment is different.
How to find pancreatic cysts
Cysts rarely have signs and symptoms, making them difficult to find. In most cases, a scan is used to discover cysts. Cysts might cause abdominal pains or lead to the development of jaundice. If detected, take cysts seriously and discuss a possible treatment plan with the doctor.
The link between cysts and pancreatic cancer
A percentage of pancreatic cysts contain a mucus-like substance called mucin which can lead to blockage of the pancreatic duct. Cysts containing mucin have a high potential of being malignant, especially if they are large with thick walls when observed through imaging. A scan alone cannot reveal cysts because some have solid and liquid components. You will need a biopsy to tell whether pancreatic cysts have malignant cells.
Treating pancreatic cysts
It is not necessary to remove cysts. Those with benign cells have no high-risk feature; thus, you will only need simple follow-ups after imaging. Imaging follow-up tests should occur after every six months. High-risk cysts can be removed through surgery, but first, you should know the risks involved, including age, health, and the nature of cells found during biopsy.
It’s critical to consult with specialists before deciding what to do next because not all pancreatic cysts are cancerous. Visit a cancer center to do imaging and have a medical report generated. If the cysts are found to be harmful, then you will need to have them removed.