What's the different between a pancreatic mass and pancreatic cancer?

If the results of a pancreatic biopsy had following result:


The specimen received in formalin labeled as Pancreatic Biopsy consist of piece of sort tissue measuring: 0.1 * 0.1 * 0.1 Cm


Pancreatic Mass, Biopsy

Tiny fragment of connective tissue only (suboptimal)

enter image description here

I would appreciate any help for me to understand the results of this biopsy.

  • 1
    What did your doctor say when you discussed this with him/her?
    – JohnP
    Dec 30 '16 at 15:04
  • @JohnP Just I received result of experiment from laboratory I Have not show it to doctor yet. Dec 30 '16 at 19:28

Doctors use the term "mass" for any abnormal concentrated mass of tissue when they notice it on an X-ray, CT or MRI, because at this point they do not know yet what the mass is: a cancer, some benign tumor, cyst or something else.

Your doctor, obviously, made a biopsy, so he got a piece of that mass out of your pancreas and sent it to the pathologist. The pathologist described how the tissue looked macroscopically (by the naked eye): as a "piece of soft tissue."

The pathologist also commented that the specimen was "suboptimal," because it contained only "connective tissue," which is less likely affected by cancer, so he/she can neither confirm nor exclude cancer.

The text you have provided does not mention any cancer, but I'm not sure if you have written everything from the document you have.

If you can't find any text after "Tiny fragment of connective tissue only (suboptimal)"...you can ask a doctor, if you need to wait for the further results or--in case all tests have been completed--what is your exact diagnosis.

  • I uploaded Image of experiment's paper . Do we get obvious answer from this experiment ? Dec 30 '16 at 19:49
  • 1
    @Maisam Hedyelloo, no obvious answer but my guess is: the tissue that the doctor managed to get with biopsy contained "tiny fragment of connective tissue" -- which is normal tissue--, so the document does not mention any cancer or other abnormality. But it also says that the specimen was not of a good quality (it was "suboptimal") so it does not exclude cancer. Maybe a new biopsy that would provide better quality specimen would show cancer (or not). So, if the doctor will say that no cancer was found, ask him if he suggests another biopsy or other investigation.
    – Jan
    Dec 30 '16 at 20:22
  • 1
    Yep, the report just says the sample wasn't adequate to draw any conclusions.
    – Carey Gregory
    Dec 31 '16 at 6:16
  • @jan Thanks for your Answer Dec 31 '16 at 6:56

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