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NCCN Guidelines for Patients



Pancreatic Cancer, Version 1.2017


Treatment guide

Pancreatic cancer testing

Initial tests

The first test recommended to check for pancreatic

cancer is a special type of CT scan using a

pancreatic protocol. A pancreatic protocol scan is

done in a special way to get the clearest and most

accurate images of the pancreas. It allows your

doctors to assess whether there is any tumor in the

pancreas, and if so, whether the tumor involves any

of the nearby blood vessels.

Results and next tests

If the initial CT scan shows a tumor in your pancreas,

then your doctor will order a few more tests to plan

treatment. A team of doctors who are experts in

different areas of cancer care should review the test

results and plan treatment.

These next tests may include:



EUS with FNA biopsy of the pancreas. This

is sometimes also performed if the CT scan

does not clearly show a tumor in the pancreas,

but your doctor is still concerned about the

possibility of cancer.



ERCP or MRCP especially if you have jaundice

and evidence of a blocked bile duct.



Blood tests to check if your liver is working well.



Imaging tests that usually include a CT scan of

your chest.



Tissue sample (biopsy)

if there are signs of

metastases. For example, a biopsy of the liver if

disease is seen on an imaging test.

Next steps

If no metastases were found, see Guide 5 for

recommended follow-up tests. If metastases were

found, see the section on metastatic pancreatic

cancer treatment later in this chapter.