NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Pancreatic Cancer, Version 1.2017
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CT (computed tomography) scan
A CT scan is often the first test given for pancreatic
cancer. A CT scan takes many pictures of a body part
from different angles using x-rays.
See Figure 4.
A special type of CT scan, called a pancreatic proto-
col CT scan, is recommended for pancreatic cancer.
A protocol is a detailed plan of a medical study, treat-
ment, or procedure. A pancreatic protocol CT is done
in a certain way so that all of the pictures focus on
the pancreas and nearby area. This special CT scan
allows doctors to clearly see the pancreas, nearby
blood vessels, and very small tumors.
Before the CT scan, you may be given a contrast dye
to make the pictures clearer. The dye will be injected
into your vein. It may cause you to feel flushed or get
hives. Rarely, serious allergic reactions occur. Tell
your doctor if you have had bad reactions before.
CT scan machine
A CT machine is large and has a
tunnel in the middle. During the
test, you will lie on a table that
moves slowly through the tunnel.