The seemingly innocuous presentation of metastatic pancreati
Pancreatic cancers of the tail have an especially poor prognosis due to their late detection. An earlier diagnosis depends on a better understanding of the clinical course of the disease; however, much of the current literature focuses on pancreatic head adenocarcinomas owing to their higher incidence.

A 56-year-old Hispanic man with a past medical history of alcohol and cocaine abuse was initially evaluated in our clinic after presenting to the emergency department with sudden onset of abdominal pain and one episode of emesis. On further questioning, he stated that he had been experiencing dull, intermittent left back pain for the past 2–3 years.

Laboratory tests were performed, which showed that the patient had new-onset diabetes, and imaging revealed a pancreatic tail mass with metastases to the liver. Biopsy confirmed the diagnosis of stage IV metastatic pancreatic tail adenocarcinoma. During follow-up 1 month later, the patient reported that he had been largely asymptomatic since his hospital admission; however, his left back pain had increased in severity. He was then started on a FOLFIRINOX chemotherapy regimen (5-fluorouracil/leucovorin, irinotecan, and oxaliplatin).

Source: Journal of Medical Case Reports 2019 13:178

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