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Self-Assessment Questions


Pancreatic Cancer: Review Questions

N. Joseph Espat, MD

Dr. Espat is an Assistant Professor of Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL.

Choose the single best answer for each question.

1. Approximately how many cases of pancreatic adenocarcinoma occur in the United States annually?
  1. 30,000
  2. 50,000
  3. 75,000
  4. 90,000
  5. 150,000
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2. Which of the following statements regarding pancreatic adenocarcinoma is INCORRECT?

  1. Survival beyond 2 years following diagnosis is uncommon
  2. The majority of affected patients have surgically resectable tumors
  3. The majority of tumors arise in the head of the pancreas
  4. The median age of affected patients is 60 to 70 years
  5. The most frequent presentation of the disease is painless obstructive jaundice
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3. A previously healthy 65-year-old man with painless obstructive jaundice visits his physician. As part of his work-up, the patient undergoes a computed tomographic (CT) scan of the abdomen. Results show that the distal common bile duct and pancreatic ducts are dilated; a discrete 2.5-cm mass is seen in the head of the gland, along with a 3-cm segment of involved portal vein. No evidence of metastases is observed. Based on current staging guidelines from the American Joint Committee on Cancer, which of the following clinical stages best describes this patient’s cancer?

  1. Stage I
  2. Stage II
  3. Stage III
  4. Stage IVA
  5. Stage IVB
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  4. Which of the following procedures provides the most accurate prelaparotomy staging of patients with pancreatic cancer?
  1. Abdominal ultrasonography
  2. CT scan and laparoscopy
  3. CT scan and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  4. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and CT scan
  5. ERCP and MRI
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5. Which of the following is the recommended drug or combination of drugs for treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic unresectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma?

  1. 5-Fluorouracil
  2. 5-Fluorouracil and leucovorin
  3. 5-Fluorouracil and mitomycin
  4. Gemcitabine
  5. Gemcitabine and leucovorin
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