Diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer

Diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer

If you have symptoms that suggest cancer of the pancreas, you may have blood or other lab tests. Also, you may have one or more of the following tests:
  • Physical exam
  • CT scan
  • Ultrasound
  • EUS
  • ERCP
  • MRI
  • PET scan
  • Needle biopsy
 

Staging

Staging is a careful attempt to find out the size of the tumor in the pancreas, invasion of the tumor to nearby tissues and the spread of the cancer. When cancer spreads from its original place to another part of the body, the new tumor has the same kind of abnormal cells and the same name as the original tumor. For example, if pancreatic cancer spreads to the liver, the cancer cells in the liver are actually pancreatic cancer cells. The disease is metastatic pancreatic cancer, not liver cancer. These are the stages of cancer of the pancreas:
  • Stage I: The tumor is found only in the pancreas.
  • Stage II: The tumor has invaded nearby tissue but not nearby blood vessels. The cancer may have spread to the lymph nodes.
  • Stage III: The tumor has invaded nearby blood vessels.
  • Stage IV: The cancer has spread to a distant organ, such as the liver or lungs.