Pancreatic cancer and bile duct cancer are difficult to diagnose and often fatal because they are discovered in the advanced stages of the disease. Researchers have developed new tests that double the ability to detect bile duct and pancreatic cancers according to a Mayo Clinic study. Bile duct and pancreatic cancers are very difficult to diagnose, says Lewis Roberts, M.D., Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist and senior author on the study. We were very pleased to see that the combination of FISH and cytology significantly improved our chances of diagnosing patients reliably. The earlier we can diagnose a patient, the better the types of treatment we can offer and the more likely they are to have long-term survival after treatment.