New test detects pancreatic cancer much earlier

accreditation
iStock

Swedish researchers have developed a new method for diagnosing pancreatic cancer at a much earlier stage than currently possible, the University of Gothenburg said.

Read: Bile 'biomarker' early detector of pancreatic cancer

The test detects the first signs of the deadly disease with 97% accuracy, which researchers hope will help improve the low survival rate among those diagnosed.

Only 5% of patients with pancreatic cancer survive more than five years after their diagnosis as tumours often develop unnoticed and spread to other organs before being detected.

"We are very hopeful that the method will enable more instances of early discovery of pancreatic cancer at a stage when the cancer can be treated or prevented," Karolina Jabbar, part of the research team at the Sahlgrenska Academy, said in a statement.

Read: Celeb pancreatic cancer deaths

Reducing risk of unnecessary surgery

"Thanks to this analysis, we can see at what stage the cancer is," she told AFP.

The test works like a normal endoscopy, where a tube is placed inside a patient's mouth and then fed down into the stomach.

"The difference is that the tube takes ultra sound (images) so you can see the organ much better and then you can take off fluids," said Jabbar.

The procedure is not only expected to help detect cancers early but also reduce the risk of unnecessary surgery.

Read: Blood test for pancreatic cancer shows promise

Existing tumours can be tested with the method, with an accuracy rate of about 90%, making it easier to determine if a patient needs immediate surgery.

Read more:

Spotting pancreatic cancers early

Gene found that slows pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer: a stubborn foe

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
31% - 9519 votes
No
69% - 20861 votes
Vote