The Importance of Hereditary Cancer Testing for Patients with Pancreatic Cancer


Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of death due to cancer.1 Approximately 56,500 people, or 1 in 64, will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year alone.  Smoking, obesity, and environmental exposures are a few modifiable lifestyle factors that can increase an individual’s risk for pancreatic cancer.  Other risk factors, such as older age, male gender, African American ancestry, family history, and inherited genetic syndromes cannot be changed.

It is estimated that up to 10% of pancreatic cancers may be caused by inherited changes in an individual’s DNA.  Because of this, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) now recommends genetic testing for all individuals diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, regardless of age and family history.2  Some inherited cancer syndromes can increase the risk of more than just pancreatic cancer, and a complete review of personal and family history can help determine the most appropriate genetic test.

This brief questionnaire will help you determine whether you should be further evaluated for hereditary cancer testing.  On average, the quiz takes less than 1 minute to complete: https://mysupport360.com/self-assesment-quiz/

Pancreatic cancer can be an aggressive disease, with an estimated 5-year survival rate of 3-34% depending on the stage of the cancer at diagnosis.1 Therefore, genetic testing immediately following diagnosis is critical to identify targeted treatment options and for family members to determine their own risk.  Individuals who carry a mutation in the BRCA1, BRCA2, or PALB2 gene may benefit from targeted treatments, like platinum-based chemotherapy and PARP-inhibitor therapy.3  In addition, genetic testing can inform risks for other types of cancers beyond pancreatic cancer, as well as inform other family members of their potential risks of cancer. If an individual has a first degree relative (e.g. parent, sibling or child) with pancreatic cancer, then that person has an increased risk of 6.5 times that of the general population.

To learn more about pancreatic cancer, inherited genetic syndromes, and genetic testing, visit: https://mysupport360.com/cancers/pancreatic-cancer

References:
  1. Pancreatic Cancer. American Cancer Society. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/pancreatic-cancer.html. Published 2019. Accessed August 27, 2019.
  2. Daly MB, Pilarski R, Berry MP, et al; National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology Genetic/Familial High-Risk Assessment: Breast and Ovarian V3.2019. Published January 18, 2019. Accessed August 27, 2019.
  3. Tempero MA, Malafa MP, Al-Hawary MA, et al; National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma V3.2019. Published July 2, 2019. Accessed August 27, 2019.