Could Gallbladder or Pancreatic cancer be missed on ultrasound?

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So far after never having a medical problem I’m still struggling with a constant ache towards the upper right side of abdomen. So far I’ve had a clear upper endoscopy, clear blood tests, clear chest x Ray and recently a clear ultrasound. My fears are that would ultrasound miss something around pancreas and gallbladder area? 

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  • Posted

    Hi there. Well I had one of those retrograde endoscopy's after lots of scans missed the gall stone in my bile duct so now waiting to have it out if your not satisfied go back to see your doctor to put your mind at rest make sure they send you for more test it's terrible worrying about it all and I should know been like this since last sept ! all things creep into your mind 💐

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  • Posted


    i can guarantee you that gallbladder cancer and pancreatic cancer would be most unlikely to ever show up on an ultrasound Matthew.

    both of these cancers are extremely hard to detect at the best of times .and pancreatic cancer especially is one of the hardest if not the very hardest cancer to detect , by the time it shows itself most people only have weeks left to live .

    thats why around 8000 new cases a year and around 7500 die in the same year .

    hope this helps.

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  • Posted

    Thank you for the replies, back to the drawing board and will be requesting a CT scan tomorrow 
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  • Posted

    Hi Matthew

    Ultrasound in my experience is as good as the person administering it. However it's rarely used alone for diagnosis but in conjunction with other tests as far as I

    Of course return to your doctor and keep going back, ask for referrals until you feel confident that your concerns are being dealt with.

    You don't say where you are but if in the UK and concerned about cancer I'd suggest visiting the Cancer Research website and also Macmillan. org. uk. Additionally as well as generic cancer helplines many cancers have dedicated helplines.

    Best Wishes

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  • Posted

    I would have thought that the only person who could tell you correctly would be a good gastroenterologist.

    My Ulrasound at the hospital was a terrible unclear picture but the ultrasound at the clinic in both seperate occasions was clear and comprehensive & did not just see gall stones but said my bile ducts were clear.

    It also noted my gall bladder was swollen.  My symptoms were diabolical with sickness all night and bloating

    and each meal I ate which did not have to be fatty seemed stuck with no digestion.

    The symptoms seemed to come on when I should have been going to bed.

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    • Posted

      Don't forget that we are all different and can have varying symptoms re gall bladder problems as well as associated digestive tract problems that give all sorts of symptoms.

      I had a CT scan that was nothing to do with diagnosis of any gall bladder problems it was as a sideline 'callculii' were seen in my gall bladder but nothing was mentioned about those stones. I believe they were small in terms of how big gall stones can become before they give any adverse symptoms. My galls stones did give me symptoms but not bad enough to make me sick as they did a few months down the line.  

      When they did give me symptoms that induced me to see my GP the symptoms caused me to realize I had deteriorated and needed quick attention and even then I did not get very quick attention at all so I embarked on what is said to be old wives tale =  fresh lemon (whole) in 1/4 cup of warm olive oil. Its a very nasty drink and there are a few who would not contemplate drinking that evil drink even for a bet but I thought it was worth a go......

      I firmly believe it shifted two stones ito the system but it was not nice doing it!  I noticed the unspeakable subject of dihorea with solid green in it signifies possible cholesterol stones that have been passed........

      I certainly felt a lot better with reduced symptoms after that little lot.

      Then three months after that episode I managed to get my surgeon/ Gastroenterologist to prescribe the Ursodioxycholic acid tabs & he prescribed 650mg per 77 KG body weight once per day preferably every evening with a meal.  This I did for a year & as already said my stones have been reduced to 2 biggest 10mm...... I do not have any symptoms at all and I have been that way over two years,.

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