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Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic Cancer - Diagnosis

Tests and procedures used to diagnose pancreatic cancer include:

  • Imaging tests
    Imaging tests (e.g. CT scan, PET scan or MRI scan) to examine the pancreas and nearby organs for signs of cancer.

  • Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
    During the procedure, an endoscope is passed down the oesophagus and into the stomach to obtain images of the pancreas. Virtual images of the pancreas are generated using high-frequency sound waves.

  • Laparoscopy
    Also known as keyhole surgery or minimally invasive surgery. This is a type of surgical procedure that allows the surgeon to examine the inside of the abdomen without having to make large incisions in the skin by using a small tube with a light source and a camera, called a laparoscope.

  • Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
    During the procedure, an endoscope is passed down the oesophagus, through the stomach, into the small intestine where the ducts of the pancreas drain into. X-ray dye is then injected to obtain clear X-ray scans of the pancreas.

If pancreatic cancer is diagnosed, further tests may be required to determine if the cancer has spread and to determine the stage of the cancer. Tests may include:

  • Blood tests
    Blood tests to detect specific proteins (tumour markers) shed by pancreatic cancer cells, such as the CA1901 tumour marker test.

  • Biopsy
    A minor procedure usually done under local anaesthetic (where you are conscious), where a tissue sample is collected. It may be performed during an endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) by passing special tools through the endoscope. Alternatively, tissue samples may be collected by inserting a needle through the skin into the pancreas.
The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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