Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms & Diagnosis


Initially patients with pancreatic cancer may not present with symptoms. The classic symptom of pancreatic cancer is painless jaundice, a yellowish skin discoloration. Once the disease progresses, additional symptoms may include1:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss


Pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed in later stages, after patients already start experiencing symptoms. Often, patients are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after undergoing4:

  • Imaging tests , such as a CT scan or MRI
  • Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) procedure, a nonsurgical, minimally invasive procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce detailed images of the gastrointestinal tract and adjacent organs
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) procedures
  • ERCP with Cholangiopancreatoscopy, which provides direct visualization into bile ducts and the pancreas
  • Blood tests
  • Biospy, or removal of tissue for testing

Boston Scientific develops and markets products that help diagnose pancreatic cancer, including the SpyGlass DS Direct Visualization System and Expect Needles.

Acquire™ Endoscopic Ultrasound Fine Needle Biopsy (FNB) Device
The Acquire Endoscopic Ultrasound Fine Needle Biopsy Device is designed to obtain larger tissue samples, which may help facilitate the diagnosis of diseases such as pancreatic cancer, liver cancer and stomach lesions.

The SpyGlass DS System

The SpyGlass DS System is used by gastroenterologists to visualize areas of potential concern in the bile ducts and pancreas. The system features high resolution imaging, enabling physicians to see inside these tiny ducts to take biopsies of suspicious tissue and fragment stones that may cause a blockage.


SpyGlass DS System

Expect Endoscopic Ultrasound Aspiration Needles

Expect EUS-FNA Needles are used within EUS procedures to acquire samples to diagnose and stage malignancies in organs adjacent to the gastrointestinal tract such as the pancreas and liver. 


  1. National Pancreas Foundation.
  2. Web MD. 
  3. The Lustgarten Foundation.
  4. MD Andersen Cancer Center.
  5. American Cancer Society: surgery

"I am passionate about finding a cure for pancreatic cancer because it took my father. I don't want others to have to endure what my father went through for 20 months without being cancer-free in the end."

James Sutherland

Sales Training Manager
Urology and Pelvic Health Division
Boston Scientific

"With both my mother and brother diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I made a promise to do everything I could to prevent this disease from claiming a third generation in our family."

Cheryl Yacovone

Sr. Marketing Communications Manager
Endoscopy Division
Boston Scientific