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Med Clin North Am. 2000 May;84(3):707-18.

Cancer surveillance of patients from familial pancreatic cancer kindreds.

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1
Department of Medicine, University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, USA.

Abstract

The family history can be used to determine which family members warrant surveillance and when to start it. Surveillance should be started at least 1 decade before the earliest age of pancreatic cancer in the family. EUS is the basic, least-invasive surveillance tool; however, findings are similar to those seen in chronic pancreatitis. All patients who have a positive EUS or who have symptoms warrant ERCP. Changes on ERCP of ductal stricturing and clubbed or saccular side branches are suggestive of patients who may need pancreatectomy in the setting of hereditary pancreatic cancer. The goal for surveillance of familial pancreatic cancer patients is to diagnose them before the development of cancer, when they have dysplasia or carcinoma in situ, and to perform a complete pancreatectomy. Timing is crucial for determining when a patient warrants surgery; if performed too early, the patient is put at risk for the morbidity and mortality of a total pancreatectomy, which is not inconsequential. If the patient survives the operation, he or she is often left a brittle diabetic. The alternative of diagnosing too late is more worrisome because the patient dies of pancreatic cancer. An essential ingredient to a good patient outcome is a team approach to these patients, using gastroenterologists, surgeons, and pathologists who have expertise and interest in pancreatic disease.

PMID:
10872427
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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