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Types of Pancreatic Cancer Screening

Review national guidelines for cancer screening and prevention; this information is listed by gene mutation and by cancer type.

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Glossary on

Types of Pancreatic Cancer Screening

There are two main types of screening used to try to find pancreatic cancer at an earlier and treatable .

  • Contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP) is a special type of imaging that looks closely at the pancreas, liver, gallbladder, bile duct and pancreatic duct to find abnormalities such as cancer. People undergoing MRCP must fast for four hours before the procedure. An injection of contrast agent—called gadolinium—is given before the test in order to help radiologists to find abnormalities more easily.
  • Endoscopic  (EUS) involves passing a tiny scope with an attached probe down the esophagus to the stomach. This allows doctors to look closely at the pancreas. EUS is performed as an outpatient procedure under anesthesia. 

Graphic of endoscopic <button
                class='glossary-tip tt-ultrasound'
                x-tooltip='<p>Also known as a sonogram, ultrasound is a device that&nbsp;uses sound to see images of internal organs and&nbsp;look for abnormalities in the body. Ultrasounds are sometimes used along with other methods to diagnose breast, ovarian, and pancreatic, and prostate cancers. Ultrasounds may also be used to diagnose pregnancy or conditions such as heart disease.</p>
            >ultrasound</button> procedure
Endoscopic procedure to look for pancreatic tumors

Find Experts
Find Experts

The organization, Collaborative Group of the Americas- Inherited Gastrointestinal Cancer (CGA-IGC) curates an updated list of hospitals and programs with expertise in pancreatic cancer screening for high-risk people. 

Register for the FORCE Message Boards to get referrals from other members. Once you register, you can post on the Find a Specialist board to connect with other people who share your situation. 

Open Clinical Trials
Open Clinical Trials

The following studies are looking at risk management for pancreatic cancer:

A number of other clinical trials for pancreatic cancer screening and prevention may be found here.

Last updated February 14, 2024