Blood Test May Lead To Faster Pancreatic Cancer Detection

Posted by Hollie Williams on September 18th, 2015

Known as one of the deadliest forms of cancer, pancreatic cancer is a silent killer. In its early, most treatable stages, the disease tends to present with no symptoms. When symptoms do appear, they are often similar to those presented in a host of other conditions. As the clock for effective treatment ticks down, doctors often look for other conditions to explain patient complaints simply because they are much more likely culprits. Enter a breakthrough that could make it easier for doctors to diagnose or rule out pancreatic cancer in their patients at its earlier stages.

The new test possibility focuses on blood particles that are found in patients who are pancreatic cancer positive. By screening for these particles in blood, doctors may be able to more easily and rapidly diagnose pancreatic cancer. In turn, earlier detection may lead to more rapid, effective treatment before cancer cells spread beyond this organ.

The latest research centers on glypicin-1, a substance in the blood that some researchers say can serve as a biomarker for the disease. This biomarker found in the blood is elevated in both pancreatic and breast cancer patients. The hope at this point is to conduct further researcher into GPC1 and see if a simple blood test could be generated to help doctors more readily detect – and subsequently treat – pancreatic cancer. How soon a test may arise from the research remains unclear.

People who are at risk for pancreatic cancer, such as those with a family history of the disease, are urged to speak with their healthcare providers. While no foolproof method for early detection has been revealed, there are options available for high-risk patients. Early detection and treatment of this disease can greatly enhance survivability rates. As it stands now, less than 10 percent of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer live to the 5-year mark. This is largely due to late-stage diagnosis.

About Author

The Sandler-Kenner Foundation was started by Gregory A. Echt, M.D. and his wife, Susan T. Echt, after they lost two of their dear friends, Michael and Peter, to premature deaths from pancreatic cancer.

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Hollie Williams

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Hollie Williams
Joined: September 18th, 2015
Articles Posted: 25

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