Often referred to as a “silent killer,” pancreatic cancer tumors are difficult to detect. Christopher Wolfgang, MD, PhD, a surgical oncologist at NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, talks with Eat This, Not That! about research underway to develop new methods to detect pancreatic tumors in the blood as well as ways to determine whether a tumor called a cystic neoplasm—most of which are benign, with a small percentage becoming cancerous—requires surgical removal.
“Research shows that a tumor growing in the pancreas can take 12 to 15 years before it becomes invasive,” says Dr. Wolfgang, also chief of the Division of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery and a professor in the Department of Surgery and at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. “If we can find and remove premalignant tumors within that window, we can potentially cure pancreatic cancer with surgery alone.”
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