Diagnosing pancreatic cancer can be difficult. Symptoms are not always obvious and usually develop gradually. If an individual has symptoms that suggest pancreatic cancer, a variety of tests may be performed to make an accurate diagnosis. However, there is no standard diagnostic test for pancreatic cancer.
First, the doctor will ask about medical and family history and will perform a physical exam. The doctor will examine the patient’s body, including skin and eyes, and feel the abdomen to check for changes in the area near the pancreas, liver and gallbladder. Blood, urine and stool tests may be ordered. The visual information of a pancreatic tumor is often first noted on a radiographic study such as a computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Below are some of the diagnostic and tumor measurement tools used to diagnose or rule out pancreatic cancer and monitor people with pancreatic cancer.
Computed Tomography (CT)
Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)
Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography (MRCP)
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Positron Emission Tomography (PET)
Questions to Ask the Gastroenterologist or GI Endoscopist
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