What are the symptoms of pancreatic cysts?

Most pancreatic cysts do not produce any symptoms. If symptoms do occur, they may be vague. Symptoms can include:

  • Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice).
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis).

How are pancreatic cysts diagnosed?

The pancreatic specialists at Miami Cancer Institute use a wide range of diagnostic techniques to pinpoint the exact type pancreatic cyst and whether it has the potential to turn into cancer. Your care team will work closely with you to develop a care plan that will help treat the cysts and closely monitor for future cancerous growth.

If your doctor suspects you have a pancreatic cyst, he or she may conduct a physical exam and ask about your medical history as well as your family’s medical history. Your doctor may also order diagnostic tests, such as blood and urine tests.

Your doctor will also ask you to undergo imaging tests, such as CT scans, ultrasounds, or MRIs.

You also may undergo an endoscopic ultrasound, which involves your doctor inserting a thin, lighted tube (endoscope) into your mouth and down into the intestine. The tube has an ultrasound probe on it that will allow your doctor to get detailed images of the pancreas.

Your care team may also decide to do a biopsy of the cyst. During this procedure, we will remove a tiny piece of tissue from a cyst and a pathologist will examine the tissue under a microscope to determine the type of cyst and whether it is precancerous. The biopsy is generally done at the same time as the endoscopic ultrasound.

Patient Support Services

Patient Support Services

Designed for Healing, Wellness and Recovery

Taking care of the whole patient is an important component of providing personalized cancer care. Integrated into the fabric of the Miami Cancer Institute, the Cancer Patient Support Center addresses the psychological, physical, social and spiritual needs of our patients during cancer treatment and beyond.

Have questions? We're here to help.