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Ampullary Cancer

What is ampullary cancer?

Ampullary cancer is a malignant tumor that arises from the ampulla of vater, the last centimeter of the common bile duct as it passes through the duodenum, the first section of the intestine. All pancreatic and biliary secretions enter the duodenum through the ampulla of vater. It is a rare cancer and accounts for 0.2% of all cancers of the gastrointestinal tract.

What are the signs and symptoms of ampullary cancer?

  • Jaundice:  yellow skin and eyes
  • Anemia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Itching
  • Pain in abdomen or back
  • Pale greasy stools
  • GI bleeding

What are the risk factors?

  • Genetics
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes

What is the treatment for ampullary cancer?

  • Surgery with the Whipple procedure is the standard treatment.
  • Palliative stenting
  • Palliative care