Researchers: Detecting Pancreatic Cancer Earlier

Fred Bodimer

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – St. Louis University researchers may have found a way to detect pancreatic cancer earlier.

For many patients, hearing you have pancreatic cancer is akin to a death sentence, because it is usually detected at an advanced stage. But SLU Care gastroenterologist Dr. Banke Agarwal says he found that some patients with acute pancreatitis — or inflammation of the pancreas — later go on to develop pancreatic cancer:

“About 1.5% of those patients with acute pancreatitis have pancreatic cancer,” says Agarwal.

Agarwal says if doctors screen patients over age 40 with acute pancreatitis for cancer, they could catch many cases two months to two years earlier which could be the difference between life and death.

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