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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Is hypoglycemia associated with pancreatic tumors?

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Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2011

Answered : 1623 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 19 Jul 2018 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: My brother in law was recently hospitalized with bleeding in his stomach. They found the blood vessels that were causing the bleeding and was able to get it stopped. In the course of their examination they found a mass in his stomach and one on his pancreas about 1 and 1/2 inches in size. The biopsy showed no cancer and he was released from the hospital on Friday. Now he's back in ICU because his blood sugar dropped to 10. He has type 2 diabetes and has been on medicine for it for about 25 years. Could the tumor on his pancreas cause the sugar to drop so low? Vital signs are now good and doctors are running tests. He is not a candidate for surgical removal of the tumor because of his weak heart. Can the tumor be treated in any other way? He does not take insulin for diabetes.
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Answered by Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin 5 hours later
Brief Answer:
May need CA 19-9 and liver functions

Detailed Answer:
Hi! Welcome to Healthcaremagic. Thanks for sharing your concerns with us. We will try to help you in best way possible. First of all it's sad to know what your brother had been going through lately.

Based on the history you have shared, it's good that the swelling was not cancerous but in needle guided biopsy there is a chance to pick normal tissue and miss the tumor part. CA 19-9 and liver functions should be done alongwith direct and indirect billirubin, to look for any signs of pancreatitic tumor as it can compres on the common bile duct to cause obstructive jaundice. Serum amylase and LDH should also be done.

As far as prognosis is concerned usually advanced CA pancreas has poor prognosis however since such extensive work up so far hasn't revealed any signs of tumor spread so likely even if it the case, the chemotherapy may be of help.

Wishing him a speedy recovery. Hope this has answered your query. If you have any questions please feel free to ask. Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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