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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Screening for Pancreatic Cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force Reaffirmation Recommendation Statement

Douglas K Owens, Karina W Davidson, Alex H Krist, Michael J Barry, Michael Cabana, Aaron B Caughey, Susan J Curry, Chyke A Doubeni, John W Epling, Martha Kubik, C Seth Landefeld, Carol M Mangione, Lori Pbert, Michael Silverstein, Melissa A Simon, Chien-Wen Tseng, John B Wong
JAMA: the Journal of the American Medical Association 2019 August 6, 322 (5): 438-444
31386141

Importance: Pancreatic cancer is an uncommon cancer with an age-adjusted annual incidence of 12.9 cases per 100 000 person-years. However, the death rate is 11.0 deaths per 100 000 person-years because the prognosis of pancreatic cancer is poor. Although its incidence is low, pancreatic cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death in the United States. Because of the increasing incidence of pancreatic cancer, along with improvements in early detection and treatment of other types of cancer, it is estimated that pancreatic cancer may soon become the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States.

Objective: To update the 2004 US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommendation on screening for pancreatic cancer.

Evidence Review: The USPSTF reviewed the evidence on the benefits and harms of screening for pancreatic cancer, the diagnostic accuracy of screening tests for pancreatic cancer, and the benefits and harms of treatment of screen-detected or asymptomatic pancreatic cancer.

Findings: The USPSTF found no evidence that screening for pancreatic cancer or treatment of screen-detected pancreatic cancer improves disease-specific morbidity or mortality, or all-cause mortality. The USPSTF found adequate evidence that the magnitude of the benefits of screening for pancreatic cancer in asymptomatic adults can be bounded as no greater than small. The USPSTF found adequate evidence that the magnitude of the harms of screening for pancreatic cancer and treatment of screen-detected pancreatic cancer can be bounded as at least moderate. The USPSTF reaffirms its previous conclusion that the potential benefits of screening for pancreatic cancer in asymptomatic adults do not outweigh the potential harms.

Conclusions and Recommendation: The USPSTF recommends against screening for pancreatic cancer in asymptomatic adults. (D recommendation).

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