For those that have certain high-risk factors, such as family history and/or inherited genetic mutations, pancreatic cancer screening may be beneficial.

Screening is when people, who do not have symptoms, but have a higher chance of developing cancer, are monitored and tested periodically. The goal is to detect cancer early before symptoms appear, to improve chances of survival.

Currently, it is only recommended that those with a high-risk of developing pancreatic cancer get screened. Therefore it is best to consult your physician to determine whether a referral to a specialist or genetic counselor is appropriate and if screening is right for you.

According to the 2019 International Cancer of the Pancreas Surveillance (CAPS) Consortium, below are the recommendations of who should be screened for pancreatic cancer and at what age it should begin.1

Pancreatic Cancer Screening

Who is considered high-risk?

  • All patients with Peutz-Jeghers syndrome (carriers of a germline LKB1/STK11 gene mutation)
  • All carriers of a germline CDKN2A mutation
  • Carriers of a germline BRCA2, BRCA1, PALB2, ATM, MLH1, MSH2, or MSH6 gene mutation with at least one first-degree blood relative affected by pancreatic cancer
  • Individuals who have at least one first-degree relative with pancreatic cancer who in turn also has a first-degree relative with pancreatic cancer (familial pancreatic cancer kindred)

At what age should screening begin?

Familial pancreatic cancer kindred (without a known germline mutation)

Start at age 50 or 10 years younger than the youngest affected blood relative


CDKN2A, Peutz-Jegher syndrome

Start at age 40


BRCA2, ATM, PALB2, BRCA1, MLH1, MSH2

Start at age 45 or 50 or 10 years younger than youngest affected blood relative

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