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How should I prepare for an appointment to diagnose pancreatic cancer?

If your doctor thinks your symptoms may be those of pancreatic cancer, you will likely need to meet with an oncologist (a doctor who specializes in treating cancer) who can diagnose and stage cancer. Become familiar with the tests that will be performed, if there are any scheduled. You should prepare for the appointment by adhering to instructions you are given, such as dietary restrictions. You may also want to prepare a written account of your symptoms and any supplements or medications you are currently using. In addition, it is a good idea to write down the questions you want to ask the doctor, so you can be sure to remember them at the appointment. Taking a friend or family member along for support is also a good idea.

Ajay K. Sahajpal, MD
Transplant Surgery
No specific preparation is needed.  Generally, the first visit to a specialist will require a thorough history and physical exam with labs.  Then, some form of imaging such as a CT scan will be ordered and an endoscopy (ERCP- endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography) to obtain some tissue, if possible.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.