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To the Editor:—
Considering carcinoma of the entire pancreas, Dr. Trimble correctly points out that there are several long-term survivors. However, many authors have emphasized that carcinoma of the head of the pancreas is in many ways a different entity from carcinoma of the body and tail. Specifically, carcinoma of the head frequently produces jaundice, causes elevation of the serum alkaline phosphatase, and prompts early laparotomy, diagnosis, and definitive resection. The problem with carcinoma of the body and tail is that it fails to produce localizing signs, except as noted in our report.The 5 cases reported in Dr. Trimble's references, and nearly all other reported cases of 5-year survival with carcinoma of the pancreas, have had tumors of the head. To our knowledge, the patient reported by Gordon-Taylor and cited in our article is the only 5-year survivor with carcinoma of the body or tail.
LaMonte CS, DeCosse JJ, McPeak CJ. Carcinoma of the Tail of the Pancreas-Reply. JAMA. 1962;182(2):212. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050410108030
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