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Doctor insights on: Can A Ct Scan Detect Pancreatic Cancer

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Does a normal CT scan exclude pancreatic cancer?

Does a normal CT scan exclude pancreatic cancer?

Not entirely: Ct imaging is useful, but pancreatic cancer can be very difficult to visualize on ct. In fact, even in patients with known pancreatic cancer it's not unheard of for the tumor itself to be poorly or incompletely seen. If there's high suspicion, endoscopy and ultrasound are useful tests. ...Read more

Dr. Barry Rosen
4,344 Doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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How likely is it that a CT scan would show pancreatic cancer?

How likely is it that a CT scan would show pancreatic cancer?

CT scan is a good te: CT scan can pick up any lump or tumor of more than 2 cm when located in the abdomen. In that regard it will pick up pancreatic Cancer if it is there. Accuracy is 80% or better ...Read more

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Is an MRCP better than a CT scan in detecting pancreatic cancer?

Is an MRCP better than a CT scan in detecting pancreatic cancer?

Since I had-: -pancreatitis, l have gone thu the screening process. Amylase is high sometimes, endoscopic ultrasound, MRI with IV contrast all have been done & all is clear. Had in Jan, 2016 & now have my final MRI with IV contrast on 1 NOV 2016. That's the workup after pancreatitis, as far as screening, I would feel amylase levels. The rest R costly 4 screening ...Read more

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Can pancreatic cancer or cancer in pancreas be detected with CT scan?

Can pancreatic cancer or cancer in pancreas be detected with CT scan?

Often: Ct scan is a very good way to detect pancreatic cancer, but there are a few caveats. One, no test is 100% accurate. Two, some cancers may not be detected on ct scan because of the way the study was performed. Three, some may not be detectable due to small size or location. There may need to be other tests such as ERCP or endoscopic ultrasound. ...Read more

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Up abdom pain extends to back. Us & ct with contrast normal. Little pain in left also. Really worried about pancreatic cancer. Ct scan reassuring?

Up abdom pain extends to back. Us & ct with contrast normal. Little pain in left also. Really worried about pancreatic cancer. Ct scan reassuring?

Pancreatic cancer: Go to a good gastroenterologist and let him lead the workup. There are other things that can be done. Check the 'web for the latest info. ...Read more

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If MRCP & CT scan with contrast were clear of Pancreatic Cancer, what are chances EUS can find Pancreatic Cancer? Are odds on my side with clear MRCP?

If MRCP & CT scan with contrast were clear of Pancreatic Cancer, what are chances EUS can find Pancreatic Cancer? Are odds on my side with clear MRCP?

Pancreatic cancer: Was the CT tailored for pancreatic mass protocol? If so it is highly accurate for detecting even very small panc masses. If it was a routine CT, the accuracy is still high, but very small tumors may not be seen. MRCP is also not specifically tailored to look for panc mass, so very small lesions may not be seen. No test is 100%, so it is always possible that another test could pick something up. ...Read more

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What would a PET scan show that a CT scan may not for a person with pancreatic cancer?

What would a PET scan show that a CT scan may not for a person with pancreatic cancer?

PET in cancer: PET scans are used to detect areas of abnormally increased metabolism, while CT scans only detect areas of differing density or lucency to radiation. So an abnormality like an area of scarred old tumor might look abnormal on CT scan but not have increased metabolism indicating active cancer on PET scan. False positives still occur with both, but they tend to commplement each other. ...Read more

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If pancreatic cancer in body or tail is causing symptoms, would it show up on a iv contrast ct scan?

If pancreatic cancer in body or tail is causing symptoms, would it show up on a iv contrast ct scan?

Yes it would: CT scan of the abdomen is a reliable to test to check for Cancer of the Pancreas. So you do not have to think too much about this as a source of your symptoms. Go see a Gastroenterologist if symptoms persist for more than a week or two. ...Read more

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If pancreatic cancer was the cause of mildly elevated lipase, would the tumor likely be big enough to be seen on a CT scan?

Possibly: This enzyme, produced by the pancreas to break down triglycerides can result from any physiologic changes in the pancreas ranging from mild to sever pancreatitis to carcinoma of the pancreas. Mild inflammation is not seen on CT scan ...Read more

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Will a ct scan without contrast show pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer? Or damage to the liver?

Will a ct scan without contrast show pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer? Or damage to the liver?

Yes: In some cases a noncontrast ct scan can show pancreatic cancer, changes that could suggest pancreatic inflammation and liver diseases. However a negative scan does not rule out these diseases. ...Read more

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A PET/CT scan (same day) can be very beneficial in pancreatic cancer detection situations. Can a PET/MRI be just as helpful in place of?

A PET/CT scan (same day) can be very beneficial in pancreatic cancer detection situations. Can a PET/MRI be just as helpful in place of?

PET/MRI is: An emerging application. Theoretically PET/MRI should be at least as good as PET/CT, but the availability of PET/MRI is currently very limited. ...Read more

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63 year old Male all blood tests normal except Ca19-9=2314. CT scan=enlarged panc. US=no stones. Can it be Pancreatic cancer?

63 year old Male all blood tests normal except Ca19-9=2314. CT scan=enlarged panc. US=no stones. Can it be Pancreatic cancer?

Very suspicious: Hi. Why did your doc measure a CA 19-9? Yes, the result looks very elevated and suspicious for pancreatic CA. However, I can't imagine a radiologist reading an abdominal CT as "enlarged" pancreas. No mass? I don't want to guess with something so potentially serious. Talk with the doc ordering the studies and get a sense for where you're headed. Good luck! ...Read more

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What is the sensitivity and npv of pancreas protocol ct scan in the detection of pancreatic cancer in the symptomatic patient?

What is the sensitivity and npv of pancreas protocol ct scan in the detection of pancreatic cancer in the symptomatic patient?

Debatable: I am not sure of exact PPV or NPV, but spiral or panc protochol CT is used to detect resectability of the tumor and metastatic disease. This helps doctor to decide what kind of surgery could/should be done. ...Read more

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What's better for diagnosing pancreatic cancer.... Ct scan or mri? I've had normal ultrasound and CT scan with contrast. Still worried.

What's better for diagnosing pancreatic cancer.... Ct scan or mri? I've had normal ultrasound and CT scan with contrast. Still worried.

Why worried?: Why are you worried? Do you have symptoms or abnormal labs?

If the ct was normal and used a specific pancreas protocol, then an MRI of the pan creas may be the best next test. Since it does not use radiation, there is little risk for you. ...Read more

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What's better for diagnosing pancreatic cancer? Ct scan or mri? 34yr male. I've had normal ultrasound and CT scan with contrast. Still worried.

CT, ERCP, MRCP: Thin-slice (3 mm) ct abdomen yields fine detail of pancreatic structures... Blood tests including tumor markers: ca-19-9, ca-15-3, and CEA can alert the clinician for ca. Also, ERCP w/ ductal brushings (though its endoscopy) can search for malignancy. Finally, mrcp may add to the clinical picture, but 64-bit ct is slowly encroaching on the former's superiority. ...Read more

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If floating stools were caused by pancreatic cancer, would they look obviously abnormal? Stool is brown, soft & formed but occ. Floats. Ct scan normal

Fat malabsorption: Floating stool is more likely to be an indication of fat absorption. It is not a sign of pancreatic cancer. ...Read more

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Worried about pancreatic cancer. Ct scan normal, blood and stool & us normal. Symptoms started almost a yr ago. If it was cancer, would I be worse by now?

Worried about pancreatic cancer. Ct scan normal, blood and stool & us normal. Symptoms started almost a yr ago. If it was cancer, would I be worse by now?

Worry: It seems that worry is the big culprit for you. If your tests do not indicate cancer, then in all probability you're fine. But you should get regular tests to ease your mind. Then you're doing the best you can do, and settling worry is also important to your health. Too much worry can impair your immune system, so practice dropping worries and see a supportive therapist. ...Read more

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Does it stand to reason that floating stool in the absence of fat malabsorption (normal CT scan and 72hr fat test isn't be caused by pancreatic cancer?

Does it stand to reason that floating stool in the absence of fat malabsorption (normal CT scan and 72hr fat test isn't be caused by pancreatic cancer?

Floaters: 99% of floating stools are caused by trapped gas. This is the truth in spite of what you might pick up from 'pop' accounts. It happens to me if I chew gum. Congratulations on not using tobacco. Keep an eye on the stomach issues -- and if the pain changes, consider a check once again. And if you have malabsorption or maldigestion, it's much less subtle than just a floating stool. ...Read more

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I am still so anxious about having pancreatic cancer. My lipase levels have fluctuated slightly over the past year - from 1 to 20 points over the reference range. I've had normal ultrasound and CT scan. Dr seems to think it's just me. But why??

Lipase barely high: 33 F anxious re pancreatic CA. Notes lipase has fluctuated slightly 1 yr. 1 to 20 points over norm. US&CT scan OK. Dr seems to think it's just me. ANS: I agree with Dr. Norm means 95% of normals are in n range but 5% aren't. Suspect you are in the 2.5% upper. All lab tests can vary 10% day to day. So if ur reading is 200 then expect it to vary by 20. Recommend u worry about other things. ...Read more

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Ct scan last summer showed no pancreatic mass. 1 yr later is a mass. Tumor markers high. Biopsy showed scar tissue. Is it still pancreatic cancer?

Ct scan last summer showed no pancreatic mass. 1 yr later is a mass. Tumor markers high. Biopsy showed scar tissue. Is it still pancreatic cancer?

Cancer: It is not pancreatic cancer unless and until to doctor and the pathology lab confirm you have pancreatic cancer.
If that is the case curative treatment can be performed and you would need other meds.
Hope all goes well. ...Read more

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Epigastric pain, back and upper right quad pain for 6 weeks. Pancreas ct scan with contrast normal. Worried about pancreatic cancer. Ct reassuring?

Epigastric pain, back and upper right quad pain for 6 weeks. Pancreas ct scan with contrast normal. Worried about pancreatic cancer. Ct reassuring?

YES: The CT is reassuring however a lesion in your upper GI tract (esophagus/stomach) should be ruled out as well! Ask the Health Care Provider who ordered your CT scan...he/she probably can "take a look" (endoscopy)

Hope this helps/good luck/be well

Dr Z ...Read more

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Likelyhood of pancreatic cancer in 34yr male with urq disc. Occ. Floating stool? Normal CT scan of abd/pelvis, u.S, blood, enzyme, stool tests normal.

Likelyhood of pancreatic cancer in 34yr male with urq disc. Occ. Floating stool? Normal CT scan of abd/pelvis, u.S, blood, enzyme, stool tests normal.

Floaters are fine: The usual reason for a bowel movement floating is extra trapped gas; this varies with diet, gum-chewing, roughage, how much you talked & swallowed your saliva. When due to fat malabsorption (a much less common explanation) the person is clearly sick; if due to pancreatic cancer you'd be jaundiced. Any further concerns are best discussed with your physician. ...Read more

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I'm 34 w urq disc.&occ floating stool. Normal stool tests, CT scan, colonoscopy, u.S, hida scan, endoscopy=gerd/gast. Can I relax about pancreatic cancer?

I'm 34 w urq disc.&occ floating stool. Normal stool tests, CT scan, colonoscopy, u.S, hida scan, endoscopy=gerd/gast. Can I relax about pancreatic cancer?

Yes, you can: You mentioned nothing suspicious for pancreatic cancer. A normal ct scan is encouraging but is not 100% accurate. If there are suspicious symptoms or chances on a ct scan, a normal ca-19.9 (a blood test that is nearly specific for pancreatic cancer) would be reassuring. ...Read more

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Should I worry about pancreatic cancer? Urq disc.&occ floating stool. Normal stool tests, CT scan, colonoscopy, u.S., hida scan, endoscopy=gerd/gast. I'm 34

Probably not: It appears that all test are normal except for the egd or endoscopy showing gastritis. Assuming normal blood workup as well, I would say that it is not likely that you have pancreatic cancer. My suggestion is that you sit down with your doctor and discuss all tests results and treatment plan. Good luck! ...Read more

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Are normal cbc, billuprin, amylase and lipase levels, CT scan and qualitative fecal fat test a good indication against pancreatic cancer?

Are normal cbc, billuprin, amylase and lipase levels, CT scan and qualitative fecal fat test a good indication against pancreatic cancer?

Yes: Pancreatic cancer is most uncommon at your age to begin with (it is not a common cancer in general). Normal blood tests and ct scan should reassure you that pancreatic cancer is not there. ...Read more

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Why would it not be practical to use CT scans to detect pancreatic cancer?

Why would it not be practical to use CT scans to detect pancreatic cancer?

Size, detectability: Ct scans will indeed show the mass of a pancreatic cancer once it reaches a certain size, but most cases are advanced by the time the primary tumor is large enough to see on a ct scan. So it isn't a question of "practicality", but one of what the ct is useful for. It can't be relied upon as a screening tool (plus it involves radiation exposure). ...Read more

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Person diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Had whipple operation and past benign pet/ct scans over past 6 months. Can person think this as cancer free?

Person diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Had whipple operation and past benign pet/ct scans over past 6 months. Can person think this as cancer free?

Not entirely: Scans cannot detect small cells that are in the process of growing. It is however a positive sign that there was nothing seen in the scan. Best to foow the recommendation of the medical and surgical oncologists, and have the recommended follow up scans. Hope this helps! ...Read more

Dr. Jan Lei Iwata
1 Doctor shared a insight

Computed Tomography (Definition)

Ct uses xrays taken an 360 degrees combined with a computer to see"inside" the body. The table moves as the xray tube and detectors spin around the patient 10 times a second or more! The image shows excellent soft tissue detail, enhanced with injection of intravenous contrast or oral contrast. This way the body is shown in slices, in any plane, usually axially, but ...Read more


Dr. Sandra Lora Cremers
3 Doctors shared insights

Pancreas (Definition)

Abdominal organ. It is digestive organ: it secretes enzymes into the small bowel which break down food and help its absorption. It is also an endocrine organ: it produces hormones involved in sugar control and control of digestion. Insulin is one of these hormones. Diabetics either lack Insulin (type 1 diabetes) or have inadequate ...Read more