Pancreatic Cancer High Risk Clinic

Surveillance and Preventative Options

Detecting pancreatic tumors early can help improve patient survival. Even though most patients do not develop symptoms until late in the disease course, some people are at increased risk for pancreatic cancer and are eligible for surveillance to catch the cancer early on. 

The Brenden-Colson Center for Pancreatic Care supports a high-risk clinic in the OHSU Digestive Health Center for these patients and their family members who might be at risk for this cancer. OHSU physicians counsel them regarding lifestyle changes they can make to reduce their risk and offer regular surveillance. The BCCPC follows these individuals long-term as part of our early detection research program. 

Meet the Team

Want to join the High Risk Clinic?

Do you identify with having any of the following?

  • Family history of pancreatic cancer:
    • Any first-degree relative (parent, sibling, child) diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on or before age 45
    • Two or more first-degree relatives with pancreatic cancer 
    • One first-degree relative with pancreatic cancer and two second-degree relatives with varying malignancies cancers
  • Sudden onset of diabetes in patients over age 50 with no risk factors for diabetes
  • Hereditary pancreatitis
  • Patients with a known genetic mutation: Ataxia Telangectasia Mutation (ATM), BRCA1, BRAC2, Familial Atypical multiple mole syndrome, Li-Fraumeni, Lynch Syndrome, Peutz-Jeughers
  • Some types of pancreatic cysts

If so, you might be eligible to join the High Risk Clinic. Our team would be happy to meet with you.

At the OHSU Pancreatic Cancer High Risk Clinic, you will be given a comprehensive physical exam, report your detailed family and personal history, and discuss risk factors for pancreatic cancer like smoking, alcohol use, exercise and optimal nutrition. We may then recommend additional screening options such as

  • Imaging studies (e.g., non-invasive MRI or CT scan)
  • Endoscopic Ultrasound - helps providers thoroughly evaluate your pancreas for tumors or cysts
  • Genetic testing and counseling - determines if you have a genetic alteration that could increase your risk for pancreatic cancer. Please note that having an altered gene does not necessarily mean you will develop pancreatic cancer. Nor does the absence of a genetic alternation mean you cannot get pancreatic cancer.

You may also be eligible to participate in upcoming early detection clinical trials.

If you believe you are eligible to participate in the High Risk Clinic, please discuss with your primary care provider about a referral to OHSU's Pancreatic Cancer High Risk Clinic or call OHSU Digestive Health Center at (503) 494-4373.