Patrick Swayze Has Pancreatic Cancer
An Expert Explains the Risk Factors and Treatments for Pancreatic Cancer
Any other times you would recommend this CT scan?
"Yes. There is a marker in the blood called cancer antigen 19-9 (CA 19-9)
that tends to increase in people with pancreatic cancer, but it is not specific
to pancreatic cancer. If a person has jaundice, is in their 60s, and has
elevated levels of this marker, I would strongly think they had pancreatic
cancer and order a CT scan of the abdomen."
Often when a celebrity is diagnosed with a disease, it raises awareness of the condition. In that sense, what would you like to see happen in the wake of Swayze's diagnosis?
"Clearly there has to be research into pancreatic cancer. We need new blood
markers to identify pancreatic cancer earlier and we need new agents to treat
pancreatic cancer after surgery to get rid of microscopic floating cancer cells
that we are not aware of and can add a survival advantage."