A 24-year-old male asked:
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would an abdominal ultrasound, amalyse/lipase blood test, reveal pancreatic cancer or even hints it?

4 doctor answers
Dr. Alvin Lin
Dr. Alvin Lin answered
29 years experience Geriatrics
Ultrasound, maybe: Amylase & lipase are good tests for pancreatitis or inflammation of the organ. However, they're not really useful at screening for pancreatic cancer. Abdominal ultrasound is a reasonable first test if you're concerned about something going on in your stomach as there's no radiation involved. If there's an abnormal finding, then we can press further w/ct or mri. But no good screening tests exist.
Answered on Mar 4, 2013
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Dr. Lester Thompson
32 years experience Pathology
Possibly: Imaging studies may show a mass or cyst in the pancreas -- which may represent a tumor or cancer. Amylase has several subtypes, so it would need to be specific to the pancreas -- but the findings are non-specific. In general, it is better to have a fine needle aspiration or core needle biopsy to confirm the presence of cancer of the pancreas.
Answered on Aug 25, 2013
3
3 thanks
Dr. Andrew Turrisi
46 years experience Radiation Oncology
Amylase and: Lipase commonly spill with inflammation of the pancreas, common causes are stones in the bile duct and alcohol excess, not pancca. The ca-19-9 blood test is not specific or sensative. Transabdomial u/s is costly, insensitive, and not a good screening tool. I don't like pancreas cancer either, but one cannot allow it to be a bogeyman.
Answered on Nov 2, 2018
3
3 thanks
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
48 years experience Pathology
Blood test no help: Ultrasound may point to the presence of mass that would need to investigated further to rule in or rule out cancer. The blood test you listed are not helpful in the diagnosis of cancer.
Answered on Mar 4, 2013
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1 comment
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Dr. Debashish Bose
18 years experience General Surgery
So actually the answer is more complicated. If a person presents with certain symptoms, such as jaundice, and has no sign of pancreatic inflammation (low amylase, lipase) and the ultrasound demonstrates biliary dilation - you have a good hint that there may be a malignant obstruction. Context and history are important.
Apr 24, 2012

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