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Pancreatic Cancer

Second opinion?



For the last six weeks, I have had a range of symptoms including loose bowel movements that sometimes float, weight loss of around 15 pounds, indigestion, belching, abdominal discomfort (sometimes a stomach ache, sometimes pressure directly below my sternum, back pain (which I can`t determine if it`s muscular or related to the other symptoms, leg pain- which I also can`t determine if it`s part of this whole thing, early feeling of fullness, prolonged feeling of fullness, and at the beginning- loss of appetite...though my appetite has slightly returned. Just recently, I began feeling very hungry very quickly after I`ve eaten.

I`ve had every test under the sun including an abdominal ultrasound, EGD, colonoscopy, CT scan, stool tests, and multiple blood tests. All have come back normal.

I had a consult with a GI yesterday and he gave three possibilities...Giardiasis, bacterial overgrowth, or chronic pancreatitis. It`s the last one I`m most concerned with as I have heard PC can be mistaken for chronic pacreatitis.

I am scheduled to have a 72-hour stool test done this week, followed by a 10 cycle of Flagyl to test the theory of Giardiasis.

I`m 31 years old, so I know PC is rare at my age, but still possible.

Is it possible for the CT radiologist to miss PC? What are the chances of that happening? Can the scan itself fail to pick-up a mass or lesion?

Should I get a second opinion? How would I go about getting a second opinion of my original scan? Can I do it on my own, or do I need my GP`s help/permission? Since the original scan is now almost a month old, should I request another one?



Pancreatic cancer in someone your age would be extraordinarily rare. A CT scan is the best study for this, if your scan was normal the chance of pancreatic cancer is very very low. You are doing the right thing by following up with a gastroenterologist.

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Response by:

Syed A Ahmad, MD Syed A Ahmad, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati