Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis

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When cancerous cells are formed on the patient's pancreas, it is called as pancreatic cancer. The cells spread and infect the part which they occupy in the pancreas of the patient. A classification of the pancreatic cancer is done in order to know identify the infected area. The classification is mentioned below.

Neuroendocrine tumor- Neuroendocrine tumor means the cancer cell formation in the 'islet cells'

Adenocarcinoma- Adenocarcinoma means the cancer cell formation in the exocrine, which is a component of the pancreas of a person

The pancreas of every individual is located deep inside his abdomen, near his stomach. The pancreas head is on the abdomens right hand side and is connected to the small intestines first section which is called the duodenum. This connection is done with the help of a tube known as the pancreatic duct. The pancreas is approximately 2 inches wide and 6 inches long. The pancreas has two types of glands known as the 'exocrine glands and the endocrine glands.'

  • Endocrine glands: The presence of the endocrine glands in the pancreas is relatively scarce. But they help to prepare the insulin in the human body which is an important hormone that enables the metabolism of sugar. The cells of the endocrine glands form a group known as the islet cells.
  • Exocrine glands: The exocrine glands are more abundant in number than the endocrine glands in the pancreas of a person. They help in the production of the pancreatic juices in the human body.

Pancreatic cancer diagnosis: The pancreatic cancer shows a very harmful impact if it is not diagnosed at the right time. The pancreatic cancer diagnosis is the procedure or the method that is followed after a patient approaches the doctor as he observes in himself the presence of some of the symptoms. An early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is important as it may help to stem the spread of the cancerous cells. If the diagnosis procedure is delayed and the cancer spreads, then it can make treatment more complicated and significantly lower the chances of remission. Some of the methods of the pancreatic cancer diagnosis are:

  • CT scan (Computed tomography): In the process of CT scan, multiple pictures of the patient's abdomen from inside are taken by the scanner. The CT scan helps to know what method of diagnosis is necessary for the pancreatic cancer patient.

  • PET scan (Positron emission tomography): In the PET scan process, the glucose which is radioactive, is inserted into the patient's veins that get absorbed in the cancerous cells of the patient

  • MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging): The MRI uses the magnetic waves to create an image of the patient's abdomen in detail. Specially the areas around the pancreas including the gallbladder, liver etc.

  • Laparoscopy: A surgical method which makes use of many incisions is called as the laparoscopy. By using the method of the laparoscopy, the doctor is able to collect the tissues in the pancreas for the purpose of biopsy. It also helps to determine how much the cancer has spread.

  • Endoscopic ultrasound: In the process of endoscopic ultrasound, an ultrasound probe is let onto the endoscopic method which helps to locate the mass in the pancreas. A needle is used to extract a small portion of the tissue so that it can be tested and seen whether there is cancer present or whether the tissue is damaged.

  • ERCP (Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography): This is a diagnosis procedure in which a flexible tube is used, that has a camera attached to it at the end. It is let into the small intestine which is near the pancreas, through the patient's mouth. It helps to collect the exact images of the patient's organs.

  • CA 19.9 Blood Test: CA 19.9 blood test is used in diagnosis and monitoring of pancreatic cancer. Read more about CAN 19.9 blood test here.

The pancreatic cancer diagnosis helps to understand what treatment measures are necessary to cure the pancreatic cancer. There are various pancreatic cancer diagnosis methods. The necessary diagnostic method at the time when the patient approaches the doctor is decided by the doctor. In order to prevent, or to start the pancreatic cancer treatment, undergoing the pancreatic cancer diagnosis is very necessary.

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