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Screening for Pancreatic Cancer
by Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, MD
The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are administered to people who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions, but do not have any symptoms.
There are no standard tests or current guidelines for pancreatic cancer screening. However, if you have any risk factors for pancreatic cancer, your doctor will want to discuss them with you. Those with higher than average risk include long-term smokers, or those with diabetes or a family history of pancreatic cancer. If you are in a high risk group, the doctor may choose to examine the pancreas and surrounding organs as a precaution. An endoscopic ultrasound can be used to examine the pancreas and surrounding structures for any abnormalities.
Talk to your doctor about your pancreatic cancer risk and any tests you may need.
Can pancreatic cancer be prevented? American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/pancreatic-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/prevention.html. Updated May 31, 2016. Accessed March 15, 2017.
Pancreatic cancer. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114527/Pancreatic-cancer. Updated July 6, 2016. Accessed March 15, 2017.
Pancreatic cancer. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:
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Updated January 2017. Accessed March 15, 2017.
Last reviewed September 2017 by Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 3/15/2017
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