How does fine needle aspiration help diagnose pancreatic cancer?

Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) is the most common biopsy procedure due to its safety and the reliability of its results. There are two ways to perform an FNA biopsy of the pancreas, either percutaneously (through the skin) or EUS-guided. When the percutaneous approach is used, a local anesthetic is applied to the skin and a long thin needle is inserted through the abdominal wall and into the pancreas. Imaging from a CT or ultrasound to guide the needle placement to ensure tumor cells are gathered.

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