Pancreatic cancer is the second most common gastrointestinal malignancy and the fourth most common cause of cancer related deaths in the United States. The incidence of pancreatic cancer increases after age 45, making it a significant problem in the geriatric population. Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include chronic pancreatitis, cigarette smoking, diabetes mellitus, and diet. Most patients are diagnosed after they become symptomatic with abdominal pain, jaundice, or weight loss. Surgery remains the mainstay of treatment, but fewer than 20% of cases are resectable at presentation. Chemoradiation is an adjunct to surgery mainly for palliation of metastases. Even in those resectable, the median survival is a dismal 18 months. Besides the need for advances in therapeutic modalities, defining a high risk, asymptomatic population for screening remains a challenge.
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