Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Оnline test to calculate risk of pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is quite unique. While it is just 11th most common cancer, the average mortality is exceptionally high with about 84% of patients dead within a year of diagnosis. The biggest problem with the pancreatic cancer is objective difficulty for the early detection capabilities, while overall chances of survival are significantly better if diagnosis made at early stages of the disease.

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Due to the early diagnosing complications, the routine screening might be required for people who have elevated risk for the disease development, based on the known risk factors, such as smoking or family history.

While online risk detection questionnaire has quite limited usefulness, it also allows concerned individuals to perform periodic self-screening to try catching “the enemy” early.  Researchers have created an easy-to-use online calculator which may offer a powerful new tool in tackling pancreatic cancer.

Scientists from the University of Nottingham and ClinRisk Ltd have developed an algorithm which can cross-reference the risk factors of patients with symptoms to flag up those most likely to have pancreatic cancer. This really might help to save lives through faster self-diagnoses, or diagnoses made by family doctors. Due to the aggressive nature of pancreatic cancer, catching the disease in the early stages can offer a better prognosis for patients. However, with few established risk factors and no reliable diagnostic test available, it is also one of the toughest cancers for family doctors to spot.

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Validating the online questionnaire, researchers performed calculations, combining symptoms such as weight loss and abdominal pain with risk factors such as chronic pancreatitis, age, smoking and diabetes. Upon testing, it was found that the 10% of patients with the highest predicted risks contained 62% of all pancreatic cancers diagnosed over the following 2 years.

The study has resulted in simple web calculators which can be found at the following link:

Developers claim that QCancer-2013 software has been developed for the UK population, and is intended for use in the UK. However, it can be used by anyone around the world, and does not have geographically based account creation or log-in.

The test takes couple of minutes, and you get the risk factor score instantly for the general risk and risk separately for the following types of cancer:

      * Any cancer
* Prostate cancer
* Lung Cancer
* Colorectal Cancer
* Gastro-oesophageal cancer
* Blood cancer
* Renal tract cancer
* Pancreatic cancer
* Testicular cancer (men)
* Breast cancer (women)
* Ovarian cancer (women)
* Uterine cancer (women)
* Cervical cancer (women)

The algorithms have been developed by Professor Julia Hippisley-Cox and Dr Carol Coupland for ClinRisk Ltd and are based on routinely collected data from many thousands of GPs in the UK who have contributed data to QResearch for medical research.

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