Pancreatic cancer screening and liver cancer screening are hot topics. Pancreatic cancer is a deadly disease. Many patients with viral hepatitis and fatty liver are at high risk for liver cancer. How pancreatic cancer screening should be done? Is it effective to screen patients for pancreatic cancer with MRCP or CT? Leading MRI and CT radiologist explains.
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Pancreatic cancer screening. Liver cancer screening. Early detection of pancreatic cancer is most important. Video interview with leading expert in radiology, CT and MRI specialist. Can pancreatic cancer be found early? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. All doctors and patients hope for effective screening tests for pancreatic cancer. Screening for pancreatic cancer of general population is not currently recommended. Pancreatic cancer screening test is oncogene CA-19-9. But it is only 80% accurate. Medical Second Opinion can confirm when MRI or MRCP in high-risk cancer patients is indicated. Medical Second Opinion also helps to choose the best treatment strategy for pancreatic cancer or liver cancer. Seek medical Second Opinion on pancreatic cancer and liver cancer and be confident that your treatment is the best available today. Dr. Kent Yucel, MD. MRI screening for pancreatic cancer works for high-risk patients with family history of pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer early detection is important in patients with genetic mutations (BRCA1, BRCA2, p16) that predispose to pancreatic cancer. People with viral hepatitis are at high risk for liver cancer. They should be screened for early hepatocellular carcinoma. Screening for early signs of liver cancer by MRI and MRCP is effective in high risk patients. Pancreatic cancer screening. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Is MRCP an opportunity to screen for pancreatic or liver cancers, both of which are known to be very deadly? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. Dr. Kent Yucel, MD. MRI and CT specialist, Tufts Medical Center. No, with one exception. Pancreatic cancer is very deadly, it is also very fast growing. Pancreas is another area where there are benign lesions and benign cysts in the pancreas. So screening (by MRCP) does find a lot of unimportant insignificant benign lesions in the pancreas. When they are small, again, we rarely know whether they are significant or not. So we end up following patients for many years to prove they are not growing. But unfortunately, time window is short to find pancreatic cancer between the time it is detectable by MRI and the time it has grown to the size when we would have found it anyway. So doing CT or MRI every year will not detect the cancers in time to do anything about them. So screening is unlikely to do better than we would have done by just normal physical exam and normal medical care. So screening for pancreatic cancer although it is a terrible disease, and we’d love to find a way to prevent it, is not helpful. The one area where MRI is helpful in screening is in patients who have liver cirrhosis or fibrosis of the liver. Or fatty liver disease. They can be due to alcoholism, it can be due to viral disease, hepatitis B or hepatitis C. These patients are at significant risk of getting liver cancer. Ultrasound as well as liver MRI / MRCP are used to screen those patients annually to look for early liver cancer. Dr. Kent Yucel, MD. We can often find liver cancer in those patients at early enough stage to treat them and cure the cancer. Dr. Kent Yucel, MD. So this one exception for screening for liver and pancreatic disease by MRCP. But it is screening not in normal patients, but in patients with underlying liver disease is MRI and ultrasound screening. ( patients with high risk for pancreatic cancer may benefit from screening. High-risk for cancer of pancreas includes: chronic pancreatitis, family history of pancreas cancer, Hereditary pancreatitis, Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome, Cystic Fibrosis, familial atypical multiple mole melanoma, FAMMM). Pancreatic cancer screening. Liver cancer screening. Video interview with leading expert in radiology, CT and MRI specialist. Should patients be screened for cancer? Dr. Anton Titov, MD.