I’m concerned

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 worried about pancreatic cancer it can be an anxious time. You may have questions about what pancreatic cancer is, what the symptoms are and if you have an increased chance of getting the disease. This section will tell you about pancreatic cancer and give you some of the tools and resources to understand the disease.

If you are worried about any symptoms you are experiencing, you can track them using our symptom diary and take it to your GP. You can also see a list of questions it may be useful to ask in medical appointments to help you know if your symptoms are likely to be cancer.

This section also explains how the disease is diagnosed and some of the tests you may have to try and find out what is happening.

Finally, you can read some blogs written by patients and those who care for them, about their own experiences with pancreatic cancer.

I’m concerned, what should I ask my doctor?

If you have any of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer, this can be a frightening and confusing time. Your symptoms may be for a number of reasons and having tests for pancreatic cancer does not mean you have the disease.

You may be struggling to know what to ask your doctor, and how to cope while you are waiting to find out the cause of your symptoms.

Asking some of the questions listed here may help you to understand your symptoms, how they can be managed, and what happens next. There are no right or wrong questions to ask your doctor and they used to answering all sorts of questions or signposting you to services that may be able to help.

  • What tests will I need to diagnose pancreatic cancer?
  • What other conditions are my symptoms likely to be?
  • What can you do to help my symptoms?
  • What should I do if my symptoms do not get better or get worse?
  • Do I need to see any other professionals or specialists?