February 1971

Conservatism and Pancreatic Carcinoma

Author Affiliations

Mayo Foundation Rochester, Minnesota

Arch Intern Med. 1971;127(2):182-187. doi:10.1001/archinte.1971.00310140010001

My experience with resection of pancreatic carcinoma began in 1938 when I resected the head of the pancreas and duodenum in a man with an ordinary type of pancreatic tumor, 4 centimeters in diameter. He lived 15 months and died as a result of cholangitis secondary to a stricture and without gross recurrence of the tumor. Microscopic carcinoma was present in the tail of the pancreas, but the patient might have lived for some time before this would have become invasive and caused death.

Experience with this patient, who was the seventh reported to have survived resection of a pancreatic tumor, made me enthusiastic over the possibilities of the operation. For a number of years, I performed radical pancreatoduodenectomy whenever I thought a tumor was removable. My colleagues also became interested in the treatment of pancreatic carcinoma and did the same.

Through the years, our results have been satisfactory from

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