Cancer Channel
Topics
Medications
Quicklinks
Related Channels

Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis

In order to diagnose pancreatic cancer, a doctor will usually conduct a physical exam, review the patient's medical history, and order certain tests and procedures. In many cases, a diagnosis can be difficult to make because the disease often causes no early symptoms, and the pancreas is hidden behind other organs. Tests often used to make a diagnosis include lab tests, CT scans, and ultrasounds.

An Introduction to Making a Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis

Pancreatic cancer is difficult to detect and diagnose for the following reasons:
 
  • The signs of pancreatic cancer, when present, are similar to those of many other illnesses
  • The pancreas is hidden behind other organs (such as the stomach, small intestine, liver, gallbladder, spleen, and bile ducts).
 
If a person has possible symptoms of pancreatic cancer, doctors will usually perform a physical exam, ask about the patient's personal and family medical history, and recommend additional tests and procedures.
 

Physical Exam and Medical History

During the physical exam, the doctor will typically:
 
  • Check for signs of disease, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual
  • Check for ascites (an abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen)
  • Examine the skin and the eyes for signs of jaundice.
 
The medical history will entail an assessment of the patient's health habits, medical conditions, and a family history of any medical conditions, past illnesses, and treatments.
 
The Zen of Cancer Caregiving - Recharge Your Batteries!

Cancer of the Pancreas

Referring Pages:
Terms of Use
Advertise with Us
Contact Us
About eMedTV
Privacy Policy
Copyright © 2006-2017 Clinaero, Inc.
eMedTV serves only as an informational resource. This site does not dispense medical advice or advice of any kind. Site users seeking medical advice about their specific situation should consult with their own physician. Click Terms of Use for more information.