The pancreas is an organ responsible for aiding in digestion and making certain hormones. Pancreatic cancer is cancer of the pancreas. The most common type of pancreatic cancer affects the pancreatic glands that make digestive enzymes.
Are you experiencing signs of pancreatic cancer? Experts at Dignity Health Central California hospitals can help put your mind at ease. To assess your pancreatic cancer symptoms in Central California, use our online tool to Find a Doctor near you.
Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms
Your symptoms may be caused by the spread of the cancer to other organs or by the pancreas itself.
Signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer can include:
- Swelling in the abdomen
- Back or abdominal pain
- Digestive problems
- Blood clots
- Changes in bowel movements
- Lack of appetite and weight loss
Other conditions may cause many of the same symptoms. See your doctor to get the right diagnosis.
How is Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosed at Dignity Health Central California?
Because of the location of the pancreas, it is nearly impossible to feel tumors as the grow. As a result, pancreatic cancer is hard to find in early stages. Pancreatic cancer has often already spread to other organs by the time people notice symptoms.
In order to diagnose pancreatic cancer, your Dignity Health Central California doctor may perform:
- Medical history and physical exam to evaluate your symptoms and look for other signs of cancer
- Imaging exams, including MRI scan, CT scan, X-ray, and other special exams to look at the bile ducts and pancreatic ducts
- Biopsy to remove a tissue sample
- Blood tests, including liver function tests and tumor markers
To determine the stage of disease, your doctor may recommend further testing after a positive diagnosis. Having a complete diagnosis, including staging, helps your doctor create the most effective personalized treatment plan for your needs and care for your well-being. Dignity Health Central California offers advanced diagnostic procedures for signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer in Bakersfield, Merced, San Andreas, and Stockton, CA.