Blood Test May Find Pancreatic Cancer Before it Becomes Malignant

Posted by Hollie Williams on November 26th, 2015

Long known as one of the deadliest forms of cancer, pancreatic cancer has perplexed doctors as they search for a way to successfully treat and even cure it. With an estimated 49,000 new cases diagnosed annually in the United States and about 40,000 deaths yearly, this particular form of cancer has a five-year survival rate that tops out at less than 10 percent. While almost always a death sentence, this disease has received very little research funding to help improve early detection and overall treatment methods. As a clear understanding of this cancer’s deadliness becomes known, more time and attention is being paid the disease and the results are starting to show.

A case in point comes out of Tampa, Florida. There researchers at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center have been working hard to develop a blood test that may one day enable the detective of pancreatic cancer before it becomes malignant. Focusing in on pancreatic lesions known as intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs), researchers say they may have found a way to detect the disease before it becomes malignant. A blood test that tracks micro RNAs associated with pancreatic lesions may provide the key to predicting the development of pancreatic cancer. This, in turn, would enable doctors to prescribe patient-specific treatments earlier.

While still under development and review, the blood test may one day serve as one of the long missing keys required to successfully battle pancreatic cancer. Unlike other cancers that are often able to be caught early and treated effectively, pancreatic cancer generally isn’t diagnosed until it has progressed. The blood test could change that, potentially paving the way for earlier, life-saving treatments.

People who are concerned about pancreatic cancer are urged to discuss the topic with their healthcare providers. A personal physician will be able to help determine risk levels and may offer recommendations for screening and/or preventative measures.

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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