11 doctors weighed in:

I’m so worried about getting pancreatic cancer. I hear that people get it with no risk factors. Is there a test I can do?

11 doctors weighed in
3 doctors agree

In brief: No great screening

Screening tests for cancers, like colonoscopy or mammograms, make sense when they allow earlier detection of disease and at earlier stages because this allows more people to be provided with treatment when it is more effective.
Unfortunately, no screening test has demonstrated this ability in pancreatic cancer. Even among people with hereditary pancreatic cancer, screening has yet to prove itself.

In brief: No great screening

Screening tests for cancers, like colonoscopy or mammograms, make sense when they allow earlier detection of disease and at earlier stages because this allows more people to be provided with treatment when it is more effective.
Unfortunately, no screening test has demonstrated this ability in pancreatic cancer. Even among people with hereditary pancreatic cancer, screening has yet to prove itself.
Dr. Debashish Bose
Dr. Debashish Bose
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2 doctors agree

In brief: Basically No

We have no screening tests for this tumor. There is a rare familial.
Trait, but unless other direct relatives (mother/father/sibling) have it genetic counseling is not warrented. Try not to worry!

In brief: Basically No

We have no screening tests for this tumor. There is a rare familial.
Trait, but unless other direct relatives (mother/father/sibling) have it genetic counseling is not warrented. Try not to worry!
Dr. Lee Pederson
Dr. Lee Pederson
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Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology
2 doctors agree

In brief: No good test

Unfortunately, there is no good blood test for pancreatic cancer.
Abdominal ultrasound, ct and/or MRI may help, but these are not employed as screening tests.

In brief: No good test

Unfortunately, there is no good blood test for pancreatic cancer.
Abdominal ultrasound, ct and/or MRI may help, but these are not employed as screening tests.
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
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Dr. David Masiello
Internal Medicine - Hematology & Oncology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Not really

You are correct, the majority of pancrease (pancrelipase) cancer is diagnosed in patients with no identifiable genetic risk factors.
There are some tests that can be done, but at this point it is not clear what to do with the information gained. The best advice is to eat a helathy diet, and get regular exercise.

In brief: Not really

You are correct, the majority of pancrease (pancrelipase) cancer is diagnosed in patients with no identifiable genetic risk factors.
There are some tests that can be done, but at this point it is not clear what to do with the information gained. The best advice is to eat a helathy diet, and get regular exercise.
Dr. David Masiello
Dr. David Masiello
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Dr. Tri Nguyen
Radiation Oncology

In brief: Yes

You can get a blood test called ca-19-9.
It usually rises with pancreatic cancer. You can have it done if you have a family history of such cancer and you worry a lot about it. Be aware that most insurances do not cover it as a screening test. Another test is ct-scan of abdomen: helpful but not definite, and not covered either for screening.

In brief: Yes

You can get a blood test called ca-19-9.
It usually rises with pancreatic cancer. You can have it done if you have a family history of such cancer and you worry a lot about it. Be aware that most insurances do not cover it as a screening test. Another test is ct-scan of abdomen: helpful but not definite, and not covered either for screening.
Dr. Tri Nguyen
Dr. Tri Nguyen
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Dr. Steven Tucker
Internal Medicine

In brief: Nope

But do not smoke!

In brief: Nope

But do not smoke!
Dr. Steven Tucker
Dr. Steven Tucker
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