GCSA is proud to introduce our pancreatic cancer screening program
South Texas Pancreatic Cancer Screening Service
Pancreatic cancer (PC) is the 3rd most lethal malignancy with an estimated 55,000 Americans diagnosed in 2018 and 44,000 will die from the disease.1 Surgery is the only real hope for cure, but because the disease presents late, only 15-20% of patients are candidates for pancreatectomy. It is estimated that 10% of pancreatic cancer develops as a result of a familial or an identifiable genetic predisposition. Request an Appointment Today!
South Texas Pancreatic Cancer Screening Test Service
While screening for pancreatic cancer in the general population is not cost-effective, targeting high-risk populations may result in a higher likelihood of detecting precursor lesions (e.g. cystic neoplasms) or early, stage I disease with higher rates of operability and improved outcomes. The risk of developing pancreatic cancer is higher in certain populations.
Who should be considered for screening:2
If you have a parent, sibling, or child that has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer AND at least one other family member with pancreatic cancer, it is recommended you get screened. If your family history or genetic testing indicates any of the following, you should visit with your doctor about the pancreatic cancer test.
- First degree relatives (FDRs) from a familial PC kindred with at least 2 affected family members, one of which is a FDR
- Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome, STK II mutation (RR=132)
- Hereditary pancreatitis, PRSSl, SPINKl, CTRC, CFTR mutation (RR 50-82)
- FAMMM syndrome, p16 gene mutation (RR 46)
- Li Fraumeni syndrome, TP53 mutation (RR 7)
- BRCAl mutation (RR 1.9-5.3)3
- BRCA2 mutation carriers (RR 3.5-22)
- Lynch II (HNPCC) mutation carriers, MLHl, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2 mutation (RR9)
- ATM mutation (RR 2.7)
- PALB2 mutation (RR unknown)
- Unexplained acute pancreatitis
How are patients screened?
Screening should begin at age 40, or 10 years prior to the age of the youngest affected first-degree relative. Two imaging tests should be completed every other year:
- Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) – An endoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure to examine the digestive tract using an endoscope. In addition to observing your upper or lower digestive tract with a camera, EUS allows us to view adjacent organs as well. By emitting and recapturing sound waves with the tip of the endoscope, we can create images that help us look for any abnormalities with the pancreas.
- Contract Enhanced MRI – An MRI is a visual scan, but does not use radiation like CT or X-ray. When contrast is injected prior to an MRI, it can help make the images clearer and aid in diagnosis.
Patients who are unable to undergo an MRI may undergo an EUS every year instead. Based on any abnormalities, your doctor may recommend a different interval for these tests.
In addition to these imaging tests, doctors also recommend
- Blood tests, including annual serum CEA and CA 19-9
- Genetic counseling
Who is not a candidate for routine screening?
If you do not have a family history of pancreatic cancer, or only have one first degree relative, you are not a candidate for routine pancreatic cancer screening tests.
1) American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures 2018.
2) Ml Canto et al, International Cancer of the Pancreas Screening (CAPS) Consortium Summit. Gut 2013;62-339-347
3) A Chhodaefal. Current Approach to Pancreatic Screening, AM J Pathology Jan, 2019.
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Pancreatic Cancer Screening
“I am so grateful for my experience with Dr. Pruitt. Dr.Pruitt did a scope of my pancreas and he was able to diagnose a mass growing in my pancreas surrounding an artery. He diagnosed my pancreatic cancer very expediently which has enabled me to begin getting treatment quickly. Dr. Pruitt was extremely compassionate, being the first doctor that has taken notice of and addressed my pain and made every effort to make me as comfortable as possible. In the procedure room, I felt as though the team was treating me as though I were a family member. They were not only courteous but also treated me with gentleness, dignity, and respect. The staff has been extremely thorough and timely with support and follow-up post-procedure. I am so thankful that God led me to Dr.Pruitt.”- Cheryl