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Adv Surg. 2014;48:115-36.

Screening for pancreatic cancer.


Even with improved cancer care generally, the incidence and death rate is increasing for pancreatic cancer. Concern exists that a further increase in deaths caused by pancreatic cancer will be seen as other causes of death, such as heart disease and other cancers, decline. Critical exploration of screening high-risk patients as a tool to reduce deaths from pancreatic cancer should be considered. Technological advances and improved understanding of pancreatic cancer biology provides an opportunity to identify and test a panel of early detection biomarkers easily, accurately, and inexpensively measured in blood, urine, stool, or saliva samples. These biomarkers may have additional usefulness in staging, stratification for treatment, establishing prognosis, and assessing response to therapy in this disease. Screening may prove to be one of several strategies to improve outcomes in a disease that has otherwise been difficult to defeat.

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