Dr. Ligresti on the Need for Screening in Pancreatic Cancer

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Rosario Ligresti, MD, discusses the need for screening in pancreatic cancer. 

Rosario Ligresti, MD, chief, the Gastroenterology Division, John Theurer Cancer Center, Hackensack University Medical Center, discusses the need for screening in pancreatic cancer. 

When patients typically seek medical attention due to symptoms related to pancreatic cancer, they will present with stage III or IV disease, and late-stage disease is associated with much worse survival, Ligresti says. Prior to the last 5 years, finding a patient with stage I pancreatic cancer, where a cure could be obtainable, was rare, Ligresti explains.

The pancreas tends to be a quiet organ, which is why cancer can be difficult to detect, Ligresti explains, adding that by the time a tumor is large enough to cause symptoms, treatment options are limited. Screening for pancreatic cancer has started to become a realistic option only in the past few years, despite a long-term effort to establish a screening process, Ligresti concludes.

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