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Pancreatic cancer occurs when cells of the pancreas grow abnormally to form a tumor. The pancreas is a gland that normally makes juices that help break down food and produces insulin and other hormones. Pancreatic cancer usually doesn't cause symptoms right away, but can cause yellowing of the skin and eyes, pain in the abdomen and back, weight loss, and fatigue. Some risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer include smoking, long-term diabetes, chronic pancreatitis, and certain hereditary disorders. Because pancreatic cancer is often found late and it spreads quickly, it can be hard to treat. Possible treatments include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
Source: GARD Last updated on 07-06-20
The CA 19-9 is a tumor marker that is used along with other tests and procedures to help detect and diagnose cancer, monitor a person's response to treatment, and detect a recurrence. CA 19-9 levels are high in 70% to 90% of people with advanced pancreatic cancer, but high levels can also be due to a number of other conditions such as colorectal cancer, lung cancer, gallbladder cancer, gallstones, pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis and liver disease. Healthy people often have small amounts of CA 19-9 as well.
If CA 19-9 is elevated, your doctor may recommend additional tests, such as an CT scan, ultrasound, MRI, ERCP, and/or a biopsy.
Last updated on 05-01-20
Yes. Cases of people with long lasting high levels of CA 19-9 with no evidence of cancer have been described in the medical literature. One common cause of highly elevated CA 19-9, not due to cancer, is cholestasis. Click here to visit MedlinePlus and learn more about cholestasis. Other reported cases have been due to interstitial pulmonary fibrosis, diabetes, endometriosis, H. pylori infection, and ruptured epidermoid cyst. Medications may also play a role in elevated CA 19-9. People with high levels of CA 19-9 and no signs of cancer, benefit from careful monitoring. Talk with your doctor about setting a plan for follow-up.
Last updated on 05-01-20
Note, these links are external searches against the National Laboratory of Medicine's drug database. You may need to adjust the search if there are no results found.
|Drug Name||Generic Name|
|ONIVYDE||irinotecan liposome injection|
|Abraxane||Paclitaxel protein-bound particles|
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