Scans with Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

Pancreatic cancer is a hard to detect, very aggressive and surprisingly common form of cancer. Survival rates are extremely low, even in those with whom it was caught early. The symptoms of pancreatic cancer can often be confused for other things and even a blood test with a full liver count can continue to mask its presence. In fact, the only way to accurately determine the presence of pancreatic cancer is a variety of different scans.

Ultrasound Scans with Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

An ultrasound scan uses ultrasonic (sound) waves to look at the areas where pancreatic cancer is suspected (usually your pancreas and your liver).  When an ultrasound scan is being undertaken, the sonographer is trying to determine whether there are any cysts or other abnormalities present.

CT Scans with Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

A CT scan is computerised and uses x-rays to search for anomalies.

Endoluminal Scans with Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

An endoluminal scan is an ultrasound scan that is done within the body rather than from the outside.  This is done with an endoscopic tube that is fed in through your throat.  Within the tube is a very small endoscopic camera that allows the doctor to not only look at any areas that may be affected by pancreatic cancer, but he will also be able to remove a sample for biopsy through a small needle.

MRI Scans with Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

A further possible test is an MRI scan that uses magnetic waves to look inside your body.

ERCP Scans with Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

An ERCP scan is an Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangio Pancreatography scan which is similar to the endoluminal scan that is able to take an x ray of the gall bladder and pancreas.  It is also possible to take a biopsy of any suspicious areas.

Laparoscopy Scans with Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

A laparoscopy is again similar to an endoluminal scan in as such that a tube with a camera is fed into you.  You will generally be given some local anaesthetic during a laparoscopy.  This test will make some small cuts inside your abdomen so you can be examined from the inside.  Ultrasound is often used with laparoscopy scans as well.

Results of Scans with Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

The tests are designed to determine whether you have cancer or not.  However, the result is often not that easy to determine, although it is possible for a doctor to be very convinced of the presence of cancer.  It is also possible that you simply have a cyst or abnormal growth that is not cancerous, of course.  The only way to accurately determine whether or not any detected growths are cancerous is by removing the growth itself and performing a biopsy on it.  With many of the scans with pancreatic cancer symptoms it is possible to take a biopsy during the scan itself, allowing further tests to take place very quickly without the need for further interventions.  Once it has been determined what the abnormal growth is, you will be spoken to about further steps.

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