Assessment
Questionnaire

Have a symptom?
See what questions
a doctor would ask.
 

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 includes:

Home Diagnostic Testing

These home medical tests may be relevant to Pancreatic cancer:

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 noncancerous conditions.

  • CT 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.

  • Ultrasonography -- 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 healthy tissues.

    The ultrasound procedure may use an external or internal device, or both types:

    • Transabdominal ultrasound : To make images of the pancreas, the doctor places the ultrasound device on the abdomen and slowly moves it around.

    • EUS (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.

  • ERCP (endoscopic 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 other condition.

  • PTC (percutaneous 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 other condition.

  • Biopsy -- 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:

 

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use. Information provided on this site is for informational purposes only; it is not intended as a substitute for advice from your own medical team. The information on this site is not to be used for diagnosing or treating any health concerns you may have - please contact your physician or health care professional for all your medical needs. Please see our Terms of Use.

Home | Symptoms | Diseases | Diagnosis | Videos | Tools | Forum | About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Advertise