Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis
Pancreatic cancer starts when the tissues in the pancreas are affected by cancer cells. This organ is located in the abdomen region and it produces pancreatic juices which aids in digestions and vital hormones such as insulin and glucagon which regulates the blood sugar levels in the body. It is a rare type of cancer and it has a very poor prognosis even in the initial stages because the symptoms are very silent and invisible until the advance stages. These symptoms are vomiting, jaundice, nausea, weight loss, abdominal pains, deep vein thrombosis and hyperglycemia. Cancer experts recommend that you visit your health care provider who will perform thorough examinations to find out the exact cause of the symptoms.
Diagnosis for Pancreatic Cancer
The following tests will be performed by your doctor to check for traces of cancer cells in your body. New technologies have brought about the use of the latest and modern devices in testing which is efficient and accurate. Computerized tomography scan (CT scan), is the use of x-ray images to check on the state of the pancreas and the surrounding organs. Ultrasound uses sensors to see the images of your pancreas. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), is a procedure used magnetic waves to create images of the pancreas. Biopsy is a technique that works by using a sample from the pancreas to check for any abnormal growth using a microscope.
The sample can be removed using a needle which is inserted into the pancreas. Endoscopic retrograde (ERCP) procedure is done using a dye to check on the bile ducts. The dye is injected using a catheter and the next step X-rays will be taken to check for the cancer cells. Endoscopic ultrasound is done by using the ultrasound machine to check for visual images of the pancreas from inside the abdomen. Other diagnostic tests are urine tests, stool tests, angiograms and laparoscopy.
Once diagnosis has been confirmed, your doctor will now be able to determine the stage of the cancer and this will be instrumental in finding the best treatment option for you. There are procedures that are done to show the cancer stages they are laparoscopy whereby a tube which has a video camera is inserted in your abdomen to show images of your pancreas, CT scans and MRI scans, Blood test is done to determine the existence of an antigen that is found in cancer cells.