The significance of the early detection of clinical symptoms in the overall survival of patients with pancreatic cancer

Authors . Nikou G., . Tsatali E., . Arnaouti Th., . Giamarellos-Bourboulis E., Zoumbouli-Vafiadi I., Polyzos A., Katsilambros N..


In order to identify whether early detection of clinical symptoms
of pancreatic cancer may lead to earlier diagnosis and
prolonged survival, the overall survival of 62 patients diagnosed
with adenocarcinoma of the pancreas in the period
January 1994-1996 and followed up until January 2000 was
determined by Kaplan Meier analysis. In 25 patients clinical
symptoms led the physician to the appropriate laboratory
and radiological investigation to the final diagnosis
and in the remaining 37 another initial diagnosis was established.
Survival was compared between patients with
stage IV disease. Median survival in the group of 25 patients
where suspicion of pancreatic cancer was implemented
earlier was 6.5 months and in those where final diagnosis
was delayed was 4 months (p: 0.025). Median delay of
the implication of the final diagnosis in the later group of
patients was 3 months. Both groups of patients did not differ
concerning the disease stage of their patients, being stage
IV in the majority of cases. It is concluded that early detection
of the clinical symptoms of pancreatic cancer may prolong
survival even in patients with stage IV disease.
Key Words: Pancreatic cancer, survival
Original Articles