True ampullary cancer starts in the ampulla of Vater, but other cancers can form in the organs surrounding it. Periampullary cancers form in the intestines, bile ducts, and pancreas, close to the ampullary of Vater. Doctors can have difficulty differentiating between ampullary and periampullary cancer without surgery. Luckily, treatments for both types of cancer are similar; some doctors use the terms interchangeably.
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