Early diagnosis for pancreatic cancer remains a challenge due to non-specific symptoms

1st November 2019

An article published in The Lancet last month reported that global incidence of pancreatic cancer had more than doubled from 1990 compared to 2017. Despite poorer outcomes for patients diagnosed late, early diagnosis of the disease remains a challenge, with early symptoms often being non-specific.

NICE NG12 guidelines advise a direct access CT scan or urgent ultrasound scan (if CT isn’t available) for patients that are 60 and over experiencing weight loss and are presenting with:

  • Back / abdominal pain: According to Cancer Research UK, around 70% of patients with pancreatic cancer initially present to their GP for this reason
  • Diarrhoea / constipation: Stools can also be pale or float due to malabsorbtion
  • Nausea / vomiting
  • Sudden onset diabetes: Our Cancer Key explains more about this

Find out more:

Access GatewayC’s ‘Pancreatic Cancer – Early Diagnosis’ course here

2 CPD credits are available upon completion of this course.

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