Why do we screen for Pancreatic Cancer?
Access to EUROPAC's secondary screening study is via registration with the EUROPAC registry, allowing a full risk assessment. Every family is considered on an individual basis, screening usually takes place from the age of 40 although may sometimes be offered at an earlier age.
What is being tested?
None of the blood tests or imaging techniques are ideal. The aim is to see what combination of tests gives the best chance of picking up an early cancer and the least chance of missing one. The methods that can be taken up include:
A simple blood test to check sugar level in your blood. It increases if you become diabetic.
A marker that can be detected in your blood. It may increase if a pancreatic cancer is present, but also may not. It can become raised when there is no cancer present, particularly in individuals with chronic pancreatitis, so is an incomplete test.
A telescope test where a camera is inserted through your mouth and down your gullet into your stomach. Once inside the stomach, ultrasound images of your pancreas are obtained. As the organs are so close a very high definition picture can be obtained.
A scan that combines conventional X-ray technology and a computer to build up a three dimensional image of your insides.
If the investigations suggested a possible problem, then your case would be discussed at a special meeting of pancreatic experts to decide on a plan of treatment. They may recommend continued surveillance, further tests to clarify the findings or evan an operation if a growth were present that could be removed.
Sorry there are currently no job vacancies