What are the tests and are there any tests used to diagnose pancreatic cancer early?

FAQ Library published on June 28, 2013
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What are the tests and are there any tests used to diagnose pancreatic cancer early?
My name is Dr. James Farrell. I am director of the Yale Center for Pancreatic Diseases at Yale University. I am often asked what are the tests and if there are any tests used to diagnose pancreatic cancer early. Unfortunately, there is no simple blood test available. The most typically used test in clinical practice is a tumor marker by the name of CA 19-9; however, it really lacks the specificity and sensitivity to pick up early pancreatic cancer. There is a variety of imaging tests such as CT scans or MRIs that again can be useful for picking up early small pancreatic cancers, and there is also a variety of invasive studies such as endoscopic ultrasounds which are very sensitive for picking up small pancreatic lesions in the proper population.
Last modified: June 28, 2013

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