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In a remarkable medical achievement, a 70-year-old woman has successfully undergone treatment for pancreas cancer, defying the odds associated with the disease.
The patient, who weighed 72 kg with a body mass index (BMI) of 32 kg/m² and suffered from truncal obesity, presented several health challenges before the treatment.
The patient had been experiencing abdominal pain for a month and had a reduced appetite.
Medical examinations revealed various organ problems, including breathing difficulties and limited mobility due to a previous case of asymptomatic healed chest tuberculosis affecting her lungs.
She also had high blood pressure and was diagnosed with a mass in the head of her pancreas, measuring approximately 3 cm x 2.8 cm, which had invaded the portal vein. Fortunately, no lymph nodes were affected.
Further tests indicated an elevated level of CA 19-9 (a tumor marker) at 137, while other parameters such as hemoglobin, albumin, liver function tests (LFT), renal function tests (RFT), and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) were within normal ranges.
An X-ray of the patient’s chest revealed multiple opacities, suggesting the possibility of metastasis. Pulmonary function tests (PFT) indicated restrictive airways, and a PET-CT scan confirmed the presence of an old healed pulmonary tuberculosis as well as a localized tumor in the head of the pancreas.
The surgical procedure faced several challenges due to the patient’s truncal obesity, which required a longer incision. The presence of fatty liver and a soft pancreas further complicated the surgery. Additionally, the bile duct was undilated, with separate right and left ducts running together until the transaction of the common bile duct (CBD). During surgery, the CBD was transected just above the junction with the cystic duct. Despite these obstacles, the procedure was completed with a relatively low blood loss of 100 ml and lasted approximately 11 hours.
The post-operative care also posed challenges, as the patient experienced fluctuations in oxygen saturation and blood pressure, necessitating a 6-day stay in the intensive care unit (ICU).
However, her recovery progressed smoothly, with the patient tolerating jejunal tube feedings from the third day and engaging in out-of-bed mobilization from the fourth day after surgery.
By the fifth day after the operation, the patient demonstrated a remarkable recovery, reporting no abdominal pain and expressing a desire to consume beverages such as coffee, tea, and water.
She was comfortable, happy, and satisfied with the treatment she had received, blessing all those involved in her care.
On the 10th day post-surgery, she was discharged to go home, marking a significant triumph in her battle against pancreas cancer.
This successful treatment serves as a testament to the skill and dedication of the medical team involved and offers hope for patients facing similar health challenges in the future.