Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Forum
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Pancreatic cancer detection?

I would like some insight/advice to a current situation with a family member. My brother, who is 54 years old, recently had the CA 19-9 blood test done and results came a little elevated. From what he tells me, the normal values are below 37 and he showed 45 the first time. He then had the same test repeated after 2 weeks and it was 51. The doctors tell him to repeat in a month's time. However, after doing some reading on this subject, it seems pancreatic cancer is a deadly form of cancer and i do not feel comfortable with him waiting 1 month for a repeat test. He doesn't seem to have any symtpoms.

a.) So, first of all, are these results alarming?
b.) Would it be advisable to wait 1 month for a repeat test or should he get a CT scan, MRI or some other procedure done to get to the bottom of this immediately?
c.) What are some of the best gastroenterology hospitals in US he can go go to?

thanks for the advice and insight.

1 Responses
233190 tn?1278549801
To answer your questions:
1) The CA 19-9 blood test is not 100% specific, as there are other reasons that can elevate the test values.

2) If pancreatic cancer is a concern, obtaining a CT scan or MRI would give a more definitive answer.

3) Looking at the US News and World Report can help with the hospital rankings.  Realistically most major academic medical center hospitals should have strong GI departments.

These options can be discussed with your personal physician.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patients education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
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