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The relationship between diabetes mellitus and pancreatic cancer and the implications for screening

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Author(s): Jan Trna | Petr Dítě | Markéta Hermanová | Arona Ševčíková

Journal: Polish Gastroenterology
ISSN 1232-9886

Volume: 12;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 313;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: diabetes mellitus | pancreatic cancer | risk factor | screening

ABSTRACT
Pancreatic cancer is a disease with a dismal prognosis and typically a long asymptomatic course of the disease with difficult detection of early curative stages. Definition of patients with high risk of pancreatic cancer development and their screening is one of the possible ways to improve this situation. Diabetes mellitus and its relevance to pancreatic cancer has been discussed for decades but the etiological implications are still not completely clear. While history of long-lasting diabetes may increase relative risk of pancreatic cancer development, diabetes appearing shortly prior to the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer may be caused by pancreatic malignancy and, in some cases, could be the first symptom. This review article summarizes literature data regarding the relationship between pancreatic cancer and diabetes and its clinical implications. It also advocates the screening strategy for patients with atypical course of recently diagnosed diabetes mellitus including the description of its clinical characteristics.

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