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Pancreatic Cancer Specialist

Avo Artinyan, MD, MS

Surgical Oncologist & Colorectal Surgeon located in Glendale, CA

Pancreatic cancer may not be as common as other types of cancer, but it often develops quickly without causing symptoms and may be advanced at the time of diagnosis. Avo Artinyan, MD, MS, of Academic Surgical Associates in Glendale, California, is a surgical oncologist specializing in the surgical treatment of pancreatic cancer. To schedule a consultation, call the office or book an appointment online today.

Pancreatic Cancer Q & A

What is pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer is a type of cancer that originates in the pancreas. The initial growth of the tumor may start in the exocrine or endocrine cells. 

Though there are many types of pancreatic cancer, adenocarcinoma is the most common. It develops in the common bile ducts that connect the pancreas to the small intestine.

Tumors that originate in the endocrine cells of the pancreas are known as neuroendocrine tumors. 

Am I at risk of developing pancreatic cancer?

Researchers investigating what causes pancreatic cancer theorize that it may develop from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Risk factors associated with the onset of pancreatic cancer include:

  • Being over the age of 45
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Consuming alcohol
  • Having a family history of pancreatic cancer
  • Having a medical history of diabetes or obesity
  • Having chronic pancreatitis

A combination of diabetes, poor diet habits, and smoking may significantly increase your risk of developing pancreatic cancer. 

What treatments are part of a pancreatic cancer program?

Treatment for pancreatic cancer depends on the stage of your cancer. In most cases, signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer don’t appear until the cancer is advanced, and diagnosis may not occur until you’re in the later stages.

Signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer include:

  • Yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Light-colored stool
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Itchy skin

Treatment for pancreatic cancer typically includes a combination of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. However, complete removal of your tumor at the time of surgery remains an essential treatment.

A comprehensive pancreatic cancer program examines all of your treatment options for the best possible outcomes.

Do I need surgery for pancreatic cancer?

Dr. Artinyan is a surgical oncologist and closely reviews your tests and scans and discusses your case with a multi-disciplinary team to determine if surgery should be part of your pancreatic cancer program. 

If Dr. Artinyan determines your tumor is operable, he performs surgery right away. However, in some cases, he may recommend chemotherapy before surgical removal of the tumor. 

The surgeons at Academic Surgical Associates are experts in the treatment of pancreatic cancer and offer many surgical treatment options, including open surgery, laparoscopic surgery, and robotic pancreatectomy. 

Dr. Artinyan actively researches new ways to treat pancreatic tumors, including irreversible electroporation (IRE) and ablation, which uses high-voltage electricity to destroy cancerous cells.

Surgery is your best chance of a cure for pancreatic cancer. To discuss options, call the office of Avo Artinyan, MD, MS, or schedule a consultation online today.