About Pancreatic Cancer
When possible pancreatic symptoms occur, patients frequently seek help on their own. Often, the first step that a doctor recommends is one of several diagnostic procedures. Today, there are several reliable ways to diagnose pancreatic cancer. These can include:
· A CT scan of the abdomen. This is an x-ray procedure that creates detailed pictures of structures within the body. These pictures help doctors better visualize hidden anatomy and identify any tumors that may be present.
· An MRI of the abdomen. This is used to magnetically scan internal soft tissue structures, creating another kind of picture that helps doctors identify pancreatic tumors.
· An endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). This involves insertion of a flexible lighted scope down the throat to facilitate examination of the pancreas and nearby structures.
· Endoscopic ultrasound. A scope is inserted that enables an ultrasound imaging procedure to be performed so that internal organs can be better visualized.
· Pancreatic biopsy. This is surgical removal of a portion of the suspected tumor area for lab analysis.
Blood and other less invasive tests can identify abnormalities that may make doctors suspect the presence of pancreatic cancer.