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Diagnosis

Expert Diagnosis is Key!

Comprehensive evaluation with accurate diagnosis is the foundation for achieving successful outcomes. That’s why it’s important to seek care from a center that provides academic level care from a multidisciplinary, specialized team of hepatobiliary and pancreatic experts experienced in the accurate diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, as well as other complex gastrointestinal diseases.

Beginning with a thorough evaluation that includes a comprehensive physical exam, personal medical history review and state-of-the-art diagnostic workup, Hoag’s multidisciplinary team of board-certified, fellowship trained hepatobiliary and pancreatic experts carefully evaluate and pinpoint the nature of the cancer, so the most appropriate personalized treatment options can be employed.

Hoag’s state-of-the-art diagnostic technologies provide our team with the latest modalities in the accurate diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and other disorders. Some of the progressive imaging studies that may be utilized include:

  • Volume Rendering Computed Tomography (CT) is the most recent advance in CT technology. Only a few centers in Southern California have this technology, which creates highly accurate 3-D scans of the pancreas. This enables physicians to properly stage the cancer and determine whether the tumor is resectable.
  • Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) uses an ultrasound device to make images of your pancreas from inside your abdomen. The physician may also collect a sample of cells (biopsy) during EUS.
  • Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) uses a dye to highlight the bile ducts in the pancreas, so that an accurate image of the bile duct and pancreatic duct may be obtained. This study is performed to rule out certain diseases of the pancreas and the bile duct. The physician may also insert small tubes (called stents) into the bile duct or the pancreatic duct, if they are obstructed, to relieve the obstruction. Additionally, a tissue sample (biopsy) may be collected during ERCP.
  • MRCP is a modified MRI that utilizes specialized software to obtain a composite image of the pancreatic duct and the bile duct from the digital MRI images. This study provides similar information to an ERCP. However, as a diagnostic study, MRCP study is preferred to ERCP since this procedure is not invasive.
  • Tumor Markers are used to determine whether certain substances are being released into the blood. Tumor markers are often obtained to assess the probability of a cancer in a patient who has a lesion. While high tumor markers may indicate cancer, they are not definitive since non-cancerous conditions of the pancreas and liver can falsely elevate these tumor markers.
  • Diagnostic Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to examine internal organs by direct visualization. Small incisions are made in the abdominal wall, and a thin, lighted tube called a laparoscope is inserted. This procedure allows the surgeon to evaluate whether the cancer has spread outside of the pancreas prior to performing surgery. This is an important part of planning for surgery.
  • Biopsy is the removal of a sample of tissue for testing. This procedure is performed to definitively diagnose pancreatic cancer, and may involve other methods outside of laparoscopic biopsy, such as endoscopic ultrasound or fine-needle aspiration.

It’s important to note that proper diagnosis and staging of pancreatic cancer is critical to developing a successful treatment plan. That’s why it’s so important to seek proper evaluation and treatment from a healthcare expert experienced in the most advanced hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancer care.

Innovative Treatment for Pancreatic Cancer

When it comes to pancreatic cancer and other gastrointestinal diseases, Hoag Family Cancer Institute, in collaboration with pancreatic cancer specialists and USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, provides a full array of progressive treatment options. As a recognized leader and high-volume provider of innovative gastrointestinal care, Hoag’s multidisciplinary team of digestive disease experts performs some of the most advanced gastrointestinal procedures available in the nation with clinical outcomes that rival national figures.

Expert Care You Can Trust!

Hoag Family Cancer Institute, in collaboration with digestive disorder physician specialists, USC Care Medical Group and USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, provide state-of-the-art complex hepatobiliary and pancreatic cancer care. Hoag’s committed to accurate diagnosis, combined with progressive therapeutic options enables Hoag patients to achieve some of the highest clinical outcomes in the nation.

To schedule a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation, or a second-opinion consultation with a Hoag pancreatic cancer expert, call us at 949-764-5350.