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What tests to detect it?

Although relatively rare, pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death. When symptoms appear, the disease is usually too advanced to be treated effectively. The risk of developing this cancer increases when close relatives have been diagnosed. In people with three or more family members with the disease, the risk increases to 40%.

But the earlier pancreatic cancer is detected, the more likely it is to be removed through surgery, the only possible treatment. Experts therefore strive for earlier diagnoses.

Who Can Benefit From Regular Screening for Pancreatic Cancer?

People at high risk of pancreatic cancer can benefit from screening. High-risk individuals meet one of the following criteria:

– Have at least 2 relatives with pancreatic cancer, one of whom is a parent, sibling or child.
– Have Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, hereditary pancreatitis or a CDKN2A gene mutation
– Have Lynch syndrome or mutations in the BRCA1, BRCA2, PALB2 and ATM genes and have a parent, brother, sister or child with pancreatic cancer.
People with a family history of pancreatic cancer may benefit from genetic testing to better understand their risk.

What happens at a demonstration?

Most doctors do an MRI and endoscopic ultrasound (EES). During EES, your doctor takes pictures of your pancreas by passing a thin, flexible tube through your mouth and into your digestive tract.

When do the shows start?

Most people who are considered high-risk patients can start screening at age 50, or 10 years earlier than their most recent relative with pancreatic cancer. People with certain genetic syndromes may start earlier. For example, experts recommend people with Peutz-Jeghers syndrome to start at age 35.

How often are screenings held?

Screenings usually take place once a year. Your doctor may do them more frequently if lesions are found or if you develop diabetes.

Screenings end when:

– you are physically unable to undergo an operation
– Your life expectancy is not affected by a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer

You want to end the screening

What happens if a doctor finds abnormal results during a screening? Your doctor will discuss your options with you. Although many people learn during screening that they have pancreatic damage, less than 1% of them are classified as high risk.

In some cases, surgery may be recommended. In other cases, you may be followed more often.

What are the risks of screening?

The risks are minimal. You understand :

– A low risk of injury from needles, biopsy or anesthesia.
– Unnecessary surgery due to unclear or false positive screening results
– Anxiety related to the regularity of screening.

If you’re at high risk for pancreatic cancer, talk to your doctor about the benefits of ongoing monitoring. Deciding to get tested and making decisions about test results are personal decisions that most people make with their family and doctor.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.

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