Over 200,000 people die each year of cancer of the pancreas. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth and the sixth leading cause of cancer deaths in the USA and Europe, respectively. In the USA it was estimated that nearly 33,000 new cases of pancreas cancer would be diagnosed in 2005, with almost 32,000 people dying of the disease in the same year . The nonspecific symptoms associated with early pancreatic cancer, the inaccessibility of the pancreas to examination, the aggressiveness of the tumors, and the technical difficulties associated with pancreatic surgery make pancreatic cancer one of the most challenging diseases treated by surgeons. Surgical resection of pancreatic adenocarcinoma offers the only chance for long-term cure. Over the past two decades significant advances have been made in both the surgical techniques and the perioperative care of patients with pancreatic cancer. The perioperative mortality for pancreatic resections has been reduced to less than 3% in many highvolume centers.
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