Carolinas HealthCare System

If you have symptoms of pancreatic cancer, your healthcare provider will take a thorough medical history and perform a physical exam to look for any suspicious masses or swelling.

In addition, your provider may order imaging tests, such as:

  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Ultrasound, including abdominal ultrasound and endoscopic ultrasound
  • Cholangiopancreatography, which looks for abnormalities in the pancreatic and bile ducts; this procedure may be done with an endoscope (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography or ERCP), with MRI (magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography or MRCP) or with X-rays, using a special hollow needle and dye (percutaneous transhepatic cholangiography or PTC)
  • Positron emission tomography (PET) scan
  • Angiography, which uses X-ray to look at blood vessels and determine whether there are tumor blockages or abnormal blood flow 
  • Biopsy, which may be done through the skin, via an endoscope or during surgery