Blood Test Might Help Spot Pancreatic Cancer Early
Danish researchers say findings are preliminary, test produces a lot of false positive results
TUESDAY, Jan. 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) — A new blood test might one day help doctors spot pancreatic cancer in its early stages, Danish scientists report.
The researchers said their testing is still too preliminary to be certain it can accurately diagnose pancreatic cancer in patients whose chances of survival are higher.
There currently is no screening test for pancreatic cancer, the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. It is typically diagnosed at a late stage, making treatment problematic and the prognosis poor.
“Pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease. The only chance for cure is a surgical [removal of a portion of the organ],” said Dr. Donald Richards, a pancreatic cancer specialist at Texas Oncology, a U.S. Oncology Network affiliate, located in Tyler.
Even with surgery, the majority of patients are not cured, Richards said. For many more patients, the cancer is so far along that surgery is not even an option.
“Being able to detect pancreatic cancer at a very early stage could change this, and lead to the cure of this disease,” Richards said.
The Danish report was published in the Jan. 22 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association…