Pediatric Pancreatic Malignancy/Trauma Problems
What is a pancreatic malignancy?
A pancreatic malignancy is a cancerous tumor in the pancreas. Pancreatic trauma happens when a child receives an injury directly to the pancreas.
Your child’s pancreas makes and releases enzymes that help break down food during digestion. The pancreas also makes and releases hormones that control sugar and salt levels in the blood. When something happens to your child’s pancreas, it can create serious problems throughout the entire body.
- It is rare for a child to experience a pancreatic malignancy or trauma; however, it can happen. A pancreatic malignancy means there is a tumor in the pancreas that contains cancerous cells.
- Pancreatic trauma can happen if your child receives a direct blow to the upper part of the abdomen where the pancreas is located. Children are naturally smaller than adults and are therefore more at risk for pancreatic injury in a traumatic accident.
What causes a pancreatic malignancy?
Pancreatic malignancies happen when there is abnormal cell growth in the pancreas that causes tumors to form. If these cells are cancerous, the tumor will be cancerous.
Pancreatic trauma in children is caused by any incident that involves a direct blow to the upper abdomen, including:
- Bicycle accidents
- Car accidents
- Gunshot wounds
- Knife wounds
- Physical abuse
What are the symptoms of pancreatic malignancy?
The signs of a pancreatic malignancy in a child depends on where in the pancreas the tumor is located and if the tumor is secreting (leaking) a particular enzyme or hormone. Tumors that do not secrete anything may not cause any symptoms at all. Symptoms of pancreatic malignancy may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Acid reflux
- Blood in stool
- Changes in behavior
- High blood pressure
- Low blood sugar
- Muscle weakness
- Pain that spreads to the back
- Stomach ulcers
- Unexplained weight loss
- Vomiting blood
The signs of pancreatic trauma include: