Linda was diagnosed with a pancreatic cyst. Her consultant gastroenterologist, Dr. Stephen Pereira, performed a Cellvizio procedure and was able to rule out cancer immediately afterwards.
“It felt like my life was on hold,” says Linda Bartlett, a 41-year-old mother of two who found out she had a cyst on her pancreas in March 2014.
Linda lives in a town called Hertford in southern England where she cares for the elderly and spends her free time gardening and cross stitching. When she began to experience abdominal discomfort that led to trouble eating and weight loss, Linda went to her doctor.
At first she thought she might be dealing with inflammatory bowel disease, but a CT scan revealed a mass on her pancreas. A subsequent MRI confirmed it was a cyst. The next step would be to determine whether it was cancerous.
“I was shocked because I thought it was cancer,” recalls Linda. “My family has a history with cancer issues. My mother is prone to cysts and my husband has had cancer. It was a stressful time.”
Linda was referred to Dr. Stephen Pereira, a consultant gastroenterologist and hepatologist at University College London. Dr. Pereira is one of the first in the UK to use endomicroscopy with Cellvizio to examine pancreatic cysts and offered Linda an opportunity to participate in a clinical study.
Find out what you need to know about pancreatic cysts
“The ability to rapidly and accurately diagnose pancreatic cysts is important because it reduces wait time for the patient and allows doctors to make diagnoses with more confidence,” says Dr. Pereira. “Microscopic imaging with Cellvizio during standard endoscopies allows us to see and assess individual cells in real-time.”
Linda had no prior experience with endoscopies but was willing to participate in the study.
A benign pancreatic cyst can be distinguished from a potentially malignant one by the appearance of the cyst wall. After using Cellvizio to view Linda’s cyst wall for the first time, Dr. Pereira explained that it had a supervascular network of tiny vessels which is typical of a benign cyst. The procedure took less than 30 minutes and results were instantaneous.
“Another key advantage of this technology is that patients like Linda can avoid undergoing major preventative pancreatic surgery,” adds Dr. Pereira. “In this case we were able to rule out cancer and sent Linda home. Since this is a relatively new procedure, we do follow-up with patients in a standard way while we gain more experience with Cellvizio.”
“It gave me peace of mind,” says Linda. “There may be others who are not aware of the options available when diagnosed with a pancreatic cyst. Cellvizio Targeted Biopsy helped me return to my life and continue doing the things I love doing.”
Several published clinical trials show that endomicroscopy with Cellvizio provides an accurate description of a pancreatic cyst in about eight out of ten patients. In cases where the image is not conclusive, a traditional aspiration of fluid can still be taken. A clinical study is ongoing and is currently recruiting patients from the Royal Free Hospital and University College Hospital in London as well as Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. Soon patients will also be able to join the study at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital and Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre.
Find a physician offering Cellvizio targeted Biopsy near you
In a recent study by Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School1 it was determined that there is an association between an increase in nut consumption and a decreased risk of pancreatic cysts and cancer.
The study shows that eating a one-ounce serving of nuts at least twice a week decreases your chance of developing a pancreatic pseudocysts, or cancerous cysts.
Five Healthiest Nuts
Here are a few of the healthiest nuts to have for your go-to afternoon snack:
Almonds are considered a super food because they’re high in Vitamin E, fiber, calcium, zinc and folic acid. They are the most nutrient-dense nut and a tasty snack!
Walnuts contain the highest amount of antioxidants. Not only can they help protect you against pancreatic cancer, but they also lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Cashews are a great source of magnesium, calcium, vitamin B and folic acid. They also contain twice as much iron as ground beef.
Pecans are antixodant-rich, making them powerful in protecting you against cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease.
5. Brazil Nuts
Studies show that Brazil Nuts can protect you against certain cancers, skin disorders and anxiety. Due to the high selenium content, consuming Brazil Nuts even help reduce asthma.
1. Bao Y, Hu FB, Giovannucci EL, Wolpin BM, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, Fuchs CS. “Nut consumption and risk of pancreatic cancer in women.” PubMed. 26 Nov 2013. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24149179.
Pancreatic cysts and pancreatic cancer can be difficult to diagnose in its early stages.
Because pancreatic cancer can spread rapidly, early detection and diagnosis is vital. According to the National Cancer Data Base1, the five year survival rate of people being diagnosed with Stage IIA pancreatic cancer is only seven percent. However, for those who are able to diagnose the existence of cancerous pancreatic cysts at Stage IA have a 14 percent five year survival rate. 1
What are Pancreatic Cysts?
Pancreatic cysts are fluid-filled sacs within your pancreas, a large organ behind the stomach that produces the hormones and enzymes that help digest food. Most pancreatic cysts are not cancerous and only cause mild systems such as:
- Persistent abdominal and back pain
- A mass in your upper abdomen that you are able to feel
Because pancreatic cancer often goes undetected, once pancreatic cysts are found a physician may need to biopsy the cysts to check for pre-cancerous and cancerous cells.
How Can I Diagnose Pancreatic Cysts?
Diagnosing cancerous pancreatic cysts is becoming easier because of the improvements in imaging technology.
Cellvizio Targeted Biopsy utilizes the world’s smallest microscope and laser imaging technology in conjunction with today’s endoscopic instruments to examine tissues at a microscopic level.
How is Cellvizio Different Than Other Diagnostic Methods?
Cellvizio enables physicians to visualize the wall of the cyst at the cellular level, making an early cancer diagnosis possible.
Other benefits of Cellvizio Targeted Biopsy include:
- Timely decision making for the physician
- Immediate tissue characterization
- Immediate cell characterization
- Ability to start treatment early if the cysts is cancerous
Is Cellvizio the Right Procedure for You?
If you need to confirm a diagnosis of pancreatic cysts, contact your physician to find out if Cellvizio Targeted Biopsy is the right procedure for you.