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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18427
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Had acute pancreatitis in March. Had MRI, CAT AND ULTRASOUND

Customer Question

Had acute pancreatitis in March. Had MRI, CAT AND ULTRASOUND PLUS 2 scopes. Found small non worrisome cysts on pancreas. No sign of malignancy. Recommend follow MRI I in year. Question? Ca19-9 was 400 in April, 290 in May and 230 in June. What do you think? We are facing paying large non refundable amount for Afirican trip. Can't reach our gastro MD.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 2 years ago.
Hello from JustAnswer.
There is no reason to avoid your trip because of these values. The vast majority of episodes of acute pancreatitis will not flare up again over the next couple months, particularly if you avoid substances that can irritate the pancreas, such as alcohol.
There clearly is no evidence of pancreatic cancer on the MRI, so also no indication of risk that should cause you to cancel any trip.
Although the CA19-9 is frequently used to monitor treatment of pancreatic cancer, it is not recommended as a screening test for pancreatic cancer, because there are many possible reasons for an elevated CA19-9, including non-cancer inflammation of the pancreas. So, it is not surprising that it is elevated in someone with pancreatitis, and would not be worrisome for cancer. And it is also improving, suggesting that whatever caused the elevation is getting better.
So, there is nothing in this data that would indicate that you should be concerned about or cancel any upcoming trip.
If I can provide any further information, please let me know.