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Is Health Screening Beneficial for Early Detection and Prognostic Improvement in Pancreatic Cancer?


Is Health Screening Beneficial for Early Detection and Prognostic Improvement in Pancreatic Cancer?

Eun Ran Kim et al. Gut Liver.


Background/aims: The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of health screening for early detection and improved prognosis in pancreatic cancer.

Methods: Between 1995 and 2008, 176,361 examinees visited the Health Promotion Center (HPC). Twenty patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer were enrolled. During the same period, 40 patients were randomly selected from 2,202 patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the Out Patient Clinic (OPC) for comparison.

Results: Within the HPC group, 10 patients were initially suspected of having pancreatic cancer following abnormal ultrasonographic findings, and 9 patients had suspected cases following the detection of elevated serum CA 19-9. The curative resection rate was higher in the HPC group than in the OPC group (p=0.011). The median survival was longer in the HPC group than in the OPC group (p=0.000). However, there was no significant difference in the 3-year survival rate between the two groups. Asymptomatic patients (n=6/20) in the HPC group showed better curative resection and survival rates than symptomatic patients. However, the difference was not statistically significant.

Conclusions: Health screening is somewhat helpful for improving the curative resection rate and median survival of patients with pancreatic cancer detected by screening tests. However, the benefit of this method in improving long-term survival is limited by how early the cancer is detected.

Keywords: Early detection; Pancreatic cancer; Prognosis; Screening.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Comparison of pancreatic cancer stage between the Health Promotion Center (HPC) and Outpatient Clinic (OPC) groups based on American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) TNM classification.

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