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Pancreatic and Liver Disease

Digestive Health Center

Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Care

The Dignity Health Digestive Health Center team is comprised of highly trained surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, gastroenterologists, pathologists, nurses, and other specialists who are actively involved in the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal, pancreatic and hepatobiliary diseases. Our patients benefit from the expertise of multiple medical disciplines. 

The Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Care program combines expert multidisciplinary teams with comprehensive strategies to provide high-quality care for patients and offer them an array of services including:

  1. Bi-weekly Tumor Board Conference – A team of physicians, surgeons, and health professionals in different specialties with unique perspectives convenes to critically review each patient’s case and provide recommendations for care and treatment. This skilled team ensures that expertly developed care is personalized for each
    patient in a collaborative treatment approach.

  2. A skilled nurse navigator follows up with patients post tumor board to ensure that the patient understands their treatment plan and follows through with this plan.

  3. Innovative, minimally invasive surgical therapies and treatments for cancerous tumors and liver disease, which can provide a faster recovery with less pain and scarring.

What Conditions Do You Treat?

We offer comprehensive medical, surgical and alternative non-surgical treatment for a wide range of conditions, including: 

  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Pancreas and liver lesions
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Metastatic disease to the liver
  • Liver cancer
  • Bile duct cancer
  • Other diseases of the pancreas, liver and bile ducts

Treatment Options

Different types of treatment are available for patients with hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancer. We assess each case to determine the best treatment outcome. Treatment may consist of:

  • Whipple procedure (treats pancreatic cancer) and liver resections, using minimally invasive surgical techniques when possible
  • Advanced, minimally invasive treatment of malignant liver tumors, including:
    • Radiofrequency ablations
    • Chemo-embolization (TACE)-chemotherapy that is delivered directly to the cancerous tumor
    • Radio-embolization (Y-90)-radioactive beads that are injected directly into the blood vessels that feed tumors

Risk Factors and Symptoms

There are many risk factors for patients with pancreatic cancer, they include: 

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Weight
  • Pancreatic cancer risk increases after age 50
  • Ethnicity (higher incidences for Ashkenazi Jews, African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, and Caucasians. The reasons for increased risk is not known.
  • Diabetes
  • Individuals diagnosed chronic pancreatitis
  • Family history of pancreatic cancer

It is often difficult to diagnose pancreatic cancer because there are little to no signs or symptoms. In fact, by the time there are symptoms, the cancer has often spread outside the pancreas.  Some of the symptoms of advanced pancreatic cancer include:

  • Jaundice or yellowing of the skin and eyes
  • Increased bilirubin in blood and darker urine
  • Light-colored stool could be gray in color
  • Itchy skin
  • Lower back or belly pain in the abdomen
  • Unexplained weight loss, fatigue and loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Gallbladder or liver enlargement
  • Blood clots
  • Diabetes

Second Opinions

We understand that second opinion consults are very helpful to you, and the good news is that most second opinions are covered by your insurance, to make an appointment or refer a patient, please call 480.728.HEAL (4325). 

Make an Appointment

While most patients are referred in by their provider, you are encouraged to make an appointment if you are interested in being considered for our tumor board by calling us at (480) 728-HEAL (4325).

Refer a Patient 

Schedule a patient for an upcoming tumor board, please call (480) 728-HEAL (4325) or fax documents to 602.230.5652.

Contact Us

To learn more about our program, please call (480) 728-HEAL (4325).