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RWJBarnabas Health Pioneers Innovative Pancreatic Cyst Surveillance Program

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The incidental identification of pancreatic cysts has become more common with the increasing use of imaging modalities in clinical practice. Currently, an estimated 15% of Americans are believed to harbor a pancreatic cyst. Unlike other cysts within the body, pancreatic cysts are unique in that many pose an increased risk for development of pancreas cancer over a patient’s lifetime. Although certain cysts can be benign, when mucinous, such as intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms or mucinous cystic neoplasms, these cysts are a marker of increased pancreatic cancer risk—even when small and without high-risk features.

In fact, for certain pancreatic cysts, like main duct intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm, the risk of pancreatic cancer can be as high as 70%.4 Therefore, those with pancreatic cysts require lifelong surveillance and certain patients also need surgical intervention to decrease their risk of developing pancreas cancer. Read more . . . 

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