Pancreas Surveillance Clinic

The Pancreas Surveillance Clinic is offered to high-risk patients, those who need lifelong surveillance following surgery, and those who have pre-malignant pancreatic cysts.

High-risk Patients

Research on pancreatic cancer shows that family history plays a role in 10% of patients. High risk patients are those with:

  • two or more first-degree relatives (parent/sibling) who have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer
  • three or more second-degree relatives (aunt/uncle/cousin/grandparent) who have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer
  • one or more relatives aged 50 or younger when diagnosed

Currently, there are no screening tests to help prevent pancreatic cancer, but some tests may help providers detect pancreatic tumors or cysts early enough for treatment. These include:

  • Imaging studies such as MRI or CT scan
  • Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS): This endoscopy procedure helps providers thoroughly evaluate your pancreas for tumors or cysts.
  • Blood tests: Some tumor markers can be checked that would spark suspicion if elevated.
  • Genetic testing: With the help of a genetic counselor, genetic testing may help determine if you have the mutated gene that increases your risk for pancreatic cancer. (Some people find this knowledge helpful; however, having the mutated gene does not necessarily mean you will develop pancreatic cancer. Nor does the absence of the gene mean you cannot get pancreatic cancer.)

Postoperative surveillance

Some patients require lifelong surveillance following pancreatic surgery—for example, those with neuroendocrine tumors or Intraductal Papillary Mucinous Neoplasms (IPMN).

Pancreatic cysts

Some pancreatic cysts are pre-malignant and require close observation with routine surveillance.

The frequency of surveillance is independently assessed. This will be discussed at your clinic appointment. To make an appointment, please call the Pancreas & Biliary Center at (855) UCH-PANC (855-824-7262).