August 22, 2019 – Ranking Uptick


Anchor lead: Pancreatic cancer is moving up in causes of cancer deaths, Elizabeth Tracey reports

The rankings are shifting when it comes to leading causes of cancer death, the American Cancer Society reported, with pancreatic cancer moving up. Ann Marie Lennon, a pancreas cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, says the uptick is due to better screening and treatment of other types of cancer, such as colorectal cancer.

Lennon: Pancreatic cancer was the fourth leading cause of death due to cancer in the United States. In the last year or two its actually become the third commonest cause, and within the next ten years its predicted to become the second commonest cause of cancer death in the United States. One of the things this shows is how successful surveillance can be, which is really nice to see, for example for colorectal cancer. And what it highlights is what we really need is some way to screen for pancreatic cancer in an effective way. :29

Lennon and colleagues have recently developed a test called CompCyst to help identify cancerous lesions in the pancreas, with an eye toward earlier diagnosis. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.