Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis

Pancreatic Cancer Action
Patient Information Booklets

What is Pancreatic cancer and how is it diagnosed?

This booklet for patients and carers describes pancreatic cancer, its causes and symptoms. It gives detailed information on the diagnostic tests used and the stages of pancreatic cancer. It includes a section on what to ask your doctor, where to go for further information and a glossary to explain many of the terms used.

If you are experiencing any symptoms, which are persistent and not normal for you, it is important that you visit your GP or call NHS 111.

If you are showing any of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer you may have multiple tests to try and find out what is happening. Your symptoms may be due to a number of reasons and most people do not have cancer. It is still important that you get your symptoms investigated.

Diagnosing pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is not straight forward to diagnose and healthcare professionals may not always be able to be certain with you and keep you feeling up to date. Everyone’s journey to a diagnosis is different but they all have things in common, mainly waiting and worrying. These pages will explain the process of diagnosing pancreatic cancer and some of the feelings you may be experiencing.

There are different routes to diagnosis. Often people begin by seeing their GP, some people have many visits before they are diagnosed. The symptoms of pancreatic cancer can be quite vague and difficult to diagnose. If you see your GP and your symptoms are not getting any better, it is important to keep going back.

This section of our website provides detailed information on the tests and procedures involved in the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.