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More early stage pancreatic cancers are being discovered!

Friday, January 24th, 2020

A team led by Dr. Michael Goggins in the Sol Goldman Center just published an extensive review of pancreatic cancers reported in the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database (Blackford et al, J Natl Cancer Inst. 2020 Jan 20; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31958122 ). They found that the incidence (number) of early stage (stage IA) pancreatic cancers is increasing. Coupled with this increase, they found that the average age of patients with stage I disease is decreasing. They also report that patients with Stage IA disease are more likely to carry insurance (versus Medicaid/none) than are higher-stage cases.

These findings are exciting as it suggests hope for the early detection of pancreatic cancer. Or, as the authors write: “these trends may be the result of improved early diagnosis and early detection.” They also suggest that access to healthcare (insurance) is critical.