Group Recommends Expanded Genetic Screening For Pancreatic Cancer

By Bret Jaspers
Published: Monday, December 16, 2019 - 4:41pm
Bret Jaspers/KJZZ
Kim Brussow at St. Joseph's Cancer Center in Phoenix.

Testing for inherited genetic mutations is now recommended for all people with pancreatic cancer. 

New guidelines out this month from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network also correlates pancreatic cancer recommendations with specific genetic mutations. 

“We have been doing some genetic testing for pancreatic cancer, but now it’s all people with pancreatic cancer, regardless of family history, should be offered genetic testing,” said Kim Brussow, a certified genetic counselor at St. Joseph’s Cancer Center in Phoenix. 

Brussow said genetic testing can help determine what drugs or treatment a patient might get. It can also show a genetic chain, indicating other family members should get regular screenings. 

Pancreatic cancer is a particularly deadly form of the disease. Data from the National Cancer Institute says not even 10% of patients survive after five years.