Other conditions of the pancreas
These conditions affect the pancreas and are non-cancerous (benign).
Serous cystadenoma (also known as serous cystic neoplasm)
Serous cystadenomas are non-cancerous. They are usually in the head of the pancreas and affect women. They often don’t cause any symptoms, and are only found because a person has had a scan for another reason. If they do cause symptoms, these may include tummy pain, a lump in the tummy or, rarely, jaundice. If there are no symptoms, treatment isn’t necessary. If there are symptoms, surgery may be an option.
Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs) may be non-cancerous but they can become cancerous (malignant). IPMNs can develop in the main pancreatic duct or the smaller ducts in the pancreas. IPMNs are more common in people in their sixties and seventies, and they may be slightly more common in men.
Symptoms include tummy pain, weight loss, jaundice and pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). Surgery may be an option, but it depends on several things, including the size of the IPMN and how quickly it’s growing.
Mucinous cystic neoplasm
Mucinous cystic neoplasms (MCNs) are cysts which usually occur in the body or tail of the pancreas. MCNs may be non-cancerous but they can become cancerous. They mostly affect middle-aged women. MCN often doesn’t cause any symptoms, although some people may have tummy pain or a lump in the tummy.
Surgery may be an option, although this depends on several things, including the size of the MCN and how quickly it’s growing.
Published August 2016
Review date August 2018