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!
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.
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.
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:
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
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.