My friend tonight informed me she has pancreatic tail cancer. She is having laproscopic surgery to wash out the pancreas to see if the cells have spread to other areas. Can anyone tell me how this procedure tells where the cells have spread? In two weeks she will undergo open abdominal surgery to remove the tail of the pancreas and her spleen. If the cancer is only in the tail is it medically necessary to remove her spleen, if yes why?
If cancer cells are detected in the "wash-out" fluid, then this means that the tumor has been shedding cancer cells into the abdominal (peritoneal) cavity, which would indicate a more advanced stage of cancer.
The spleen and tail of the pancreas share the same blood supply and lymph nodes. Therefore, the spleen is routinely removed when treating malignant tumors of the tail of the pancreas.
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