Curbside Consultation in GI Cancer for the Gastroenterologist: 49 Clinical Questions

Douglas G. Adler, MD

Question 19: Should Patients With A Strong Family History Of Pancreatic Cancer Be Screened For The Disease, And If So, How? (continued)

David Chu, MD; Douglas G. Adler, MD, FACG, AGAF, FASGE

The prognosis for pancreatic cancer (PC) continues to be poor (5%, 5-year survival rate). In 2009, PC will be the fourth highest cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States.1 Most PC cases present as metastatic disease, with limited surgical and curative options. The overall 5-year survival rate with surgery remains around 20%.2 The key to improved outcomes in PC is early detection of asymptomatic lesions. Currently, there are no established screening protocols for PC. Most PCs (80% to 90%) are adenocarcinomas that develop from epithelial cells in the pancreatic ducts or from…