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Pancreatic Cancer Screening

By the year 2030, pancreatic cancer is expected to be the second most common cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. For most cancers, early detection can lead to longer survival. Yet the majority of pancreatic cancer patients are diagnosed in later stages, when surgery is no longer an option. That’s partly due to the fact that in earlier stages many people may not have symptoms of pancreatic cancer, making it much more difficult to detect.

A new set of national guidelines published by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) was released in May 2022. These guidelines recommend annual pancreatic cancer screening for patients who are considered high risk for pancreatic cancer.

Screening guidelines

If you are considered high risk for pancreatic cancer, you should have an MRI/MRCP and/or endoscopic ultrasound annually, starting at age 50 (or 10 years prior to the earliest diagnosis in the family).

High-risk factors include:

  • Certain gene mutations such as ATM, BRCA1, BRCA2, Lynch Syndrome, and others
  • Family history of pancreatic cancer in two or more first-degree relatives
  • Family history of pancreatic cancer in three or more first and/or second-degree relatives
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