Pancreatic Cancer Early Detection & Prevention Center

Eighty percent of pancreatic cancers are diagnosed at a late stage, when surgery is no longer a treatment option. When doctors can diagnose pancreatic cancer at earlier stages, our patients have more options for treatment, as well as a greater chance for successful recovery.

Experts at our Pancreatic Cancer Early Detection and Prevention Center aim to prevent and diagnose pancreatic cancer at the earliest stage possible. The center, part of NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, brings together clinicians, researchers, and patients, with the goal of increasing the 5-year survival rate of pancreatic cancer to 50 percent within the next 10 years.

Risk Factors for Pancreatic Cancer

We provide risk assessment, genetic counseling, and genetic testing for people with family histories suggestive of inherited risk, such as those who have two or more family members with pancreatic cancer. Based on the results of genetic testing, we can make recommendations for screening.

If at least one person in your family has had pancreatic cancer, additional risk factors include the following:

  • a family member with breast cancer before age 50 or multiple family members with breast cancer at any age
  • a family member with ovarian cancer
  • a family member with colon or uterine cancer before age 50, or multiple family members with colon or uterine cancer
  • more than one family member with melanoma

You are also considered at risk if a genetic test shows that you have a gene mutation for a disease that is associated with pancreatic cancer, especially if a family member had pancreatic cancer. These gene mutations include the following:

  • BRCA1, BRCA2 (breast and ovarian cancer)
  • ATM, PALB2 (breast cancer)
  • CDKN2A (melanoma)
  • MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2, EPCAM (Lynch syndrome)
  • STK11 (Peutz-Jeghers syndrome)

For people at an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, based on family history or genetic test results, doctors at Perlmutter Cancer Center may perform annual screening tests to detect developing tumors.

Research on New Blood Tests

Our researchers are developing and validating new blood tests to detect pancreatic cancer early. You may be asked to participate in research studies that investigate new approaches for early detection of pancreatic cancer.