Diagnostic Tests for Pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer: Diagnostic Tests
The list of diagnostic tests
mentioned in various sources as
used in the diagnosis of Pancreatic cancer
Home Diagnostic Testing
These home medical tests may be relevant to Pancreatic cancer:
- Colon & Rectal Cancer: Home Testing
- Food Allergies & Intolerances: Home Testing:
- more tests »
Tests and diagnosis discussion for Pancreatic cancer:
If a patient has symptoms that suggest pancreatic cancer,
the doctor asks about the patient's medical history. The
doctor may perform a number of procedures, including one or
more of the following:
Physical exam -- The doctor examines the skin and
eyes for signs of jaundice. The doctor then feels the
abdomen to check for changes in the area near the pancreas,
liver, and gallbladder .
The doctor also checks for ascites ,
an abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen.
Lab tests -- The doctor may take blood, urine, and
stool samples to check for bilirubin
and other substances. Bilirubin is a substance that passes
from the liver to the gallbladder to the intestine. If the
common bile duct is blocked by a tumor, the bilirubin cannot
pass through normally. Blockage may cause the level of
bilirubin in the blood, stool, or urine to become very high.
High bilirubin levels can result from cancer or from
scan (Computed tomography) -- An x-ray machine
linked to a computer takes a series of detailed pictures.
The x-ray machine is shaped like a donut with a large hole.
The patient lies on a bed that passes through the hole. As
the bed moves slowly through the hole, the machine takes
many x-rays. The computer puts the x-rays together to create
pictures of the pancreas and other organs and blood vessels
in the abdomen.
-- The ultrasound device uses sound waves that cannot be
heard by humans. The sound waves produce a pattern of echoes
as they bounce off internal organs. The echoes create a
picture of the pancreas and other organs inside the abdomen.
The echoes from tumors are different from echoes made by
The ultrasound procedure may use an external or internal
device, or both types:
ultrasound : To make images of the pancreas,
the doctor places the ultrasound device on the abdomen and
slowly moves it around.
(Endoscopic ultrasound) : The doctor passes a
thin, lighted tube (endoscope )
through the patient's mouth and stomach, down into the
first part of the small intestine. At the tip of the
endoscope is an ultrasound device. The doctor slowly
withdraws the endoscope from the intestine toward the
stomach to make images of the pancreas and surrounding
organs and tissues.
retrograde cholangiopancreatography ) -- The
doctor passes an endoscope through the patient's mouth and
stomach, down into the first part of the small intestine.
The doctor slips a smaller tube (catheter )
through the endoscope into the bile ducts and pancreatic
ducts. After injecting dye through the catheter into the
ducts, the doctor takes x-ray pictures. The x-rays can show
whether the ducts are narrowed or blocked by a tumor or
transhepatic cholangiography ) -- A dye is
injected through a thin needle inserted through the skin
into the liver. Unless there is a blockage, the dye should
move freely through the bile ducts. The dye makes the bile
ducts show up on x-ray pictures. From the pictures, the
doctor can tell whether there is a blockage from a tumor or
-- In some cases, the doctor may remove tissue. A pathologist
then uses a microscope to look for cancer cells in the
tissue. The doctor may obtain tissue in several ways. One
way is by inserting a needle into the pancreas to remove
cells. This is called fine-needle
aspiration . The doctor uses x-ray or ultrasound to
guide the needle. Sometimes the doctor obtains a sample of
tissue during EUS or ERCP. Another way is to open the
abdomen during an operation.
(Source: excerpt from What You Need To Know About Cancer of the Pancreas: NCI
Diagnosis of Pancreatic cancer: medical news summaries:
The following medical news items
are relevant to diagnosis of Pancreatic cancer: