UT Southwestern Medical Center's Pancreatic Cancer Prevention Program delivers an all-in-one experience to help people who are at high risk for the disease. We offer care for those who have been diagnosed with a pancreatic cyst or have a family history of pancreatic cancer. Our multidisciplinary team comes together to create a comprehensive surveillance or treatment plan for each patient in a single visit.
What to Expect
When patients become a part of our pancreatic cancer prevention program, they can expect the highest level of service.
- After contacting us for an appointment, we’ll send each patient an electronic questionnaire aimed at determining his or her relevant family history and potential pancreas-related symptoms.
- If indicated, based on the family history, patients will be referred to our Genetics Program for a comprehensive evaluation and risk assessment. In many cases, this visit can be coordinated for the same morning of their prevention appointment.
- Prior to the appointment, patients will have diagnostic imaging done, with either specialized three-dimensional pancreatic computed tomography (CT) scans or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), if not already performed. A radiologist with specialized training in abdominal imaging will interpret these scans. If imaging has already been performed, we will retrieve it for review by our radiology team.
- If further investigations such as endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) are required, we will try to schedule these procedures prior to the clinic appointment.
- The week before the clinic visit, each patient’s case will be presented at our weekly multidisciplinary pancreatic cancer prevention meeting. This meeting occurs every Friday and consists of expert pancreatic surgeons, gastroenterologists, pathologists, genetic counselors, and radiologists. The group will review the relevant imaging and other test results for patients who will be seen in the clinic.
- Each patient will be seen by a surgeon or gastroenterologist (occasionally both) with a special expertise in pancreatic diseases.
- We will create a comprehensive treatment summary and follow-up care plan.
- If further studies are required, they will be scheduled at the time of the clinic appointment.
- For most people, treatment plans are finalized at the time of the visit and communicated to the referring physician and primary care physician.
- We will provide educational materials for patients and their families to help them better understand what we discuss during the visit.
After a Patient’s Visit
After the clinic visit, some additional studies might be done to examine the molecular profile of the pancreatic cyst fluid. We will contact patients with these final results following their visit if this study is determined to be necessary.