No, there is not a good screening test for pancreatic cancer at this time. Pancreatic cancer is a rare, deadly disease. Screening tests are most effective for fairly common conditions.
So instead of a screening test for everyone, researchers have been focusing on finding one that would work in people at higher than average risk for pancreatic cancer. This includes people with:
- Chronic pancreatitis
- A family history of pancreatic cancer
- Certain genetic abnormalities, such as a defect in the BRCA2 gene. (BRCA2 defects were first linked with breast and ovarian cancer. But its now clear that theyre also linked with pancreatic cancer.)
Theres lots of promising research for people at high risk. But a reasonably priced screening test for the general population is likely to be many years down the road.