Pancreatic cancer in Israel: The epidemiology, possibilities of prevention, early detection and screening

Paul Rozen, Irena Liphshitz, Guy Rosner, Micha Barchana, Jesse Lachter, Sara Pel, Tami Shohat, Erwin Santo, Y. Biderman, E. Meltzer, Z. Fireman, G. Leichtman, E. Scapa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Pancreatic cancer is not a common malignancy in Israel, but it is the third most common cause of cancer mortality, attributable to a lack of screening tests, inaccessibility of the pancreas, and late cancer stage at diagnosis. We reviewed the epidemiology, known risk factors and screening methods available in Israel and describe the Israeli national consortium that was established to identify persons at risk and decide on screening methods to detect and treat their early-stage pancreatic cancer. In collaboration with the Israel National Cancer Registry, we evaluated the incidence and trends of the disease in the Jewish and non-Jewish populations. The consortium reviewed known lifestyle risk habits, genetic causes, and screening methodologies used and available in Israel. Overall, there are about 600 new patients per year, with the highest incidence occurring in Jewish men of European birth (age-standardized rate 8.11/105 for 2003-06). The 5 year survival is about 5%. The consortium concluded that screening will be based on endoscopic ultrasonography. Pancreatic cancer patients and families at risk will be enrolled, demographic and lifestyle data collected and a cancer pedigree generated. Risk factors will be identified and genetic tests performed as required. This concerted national program to identify persons at risk, recommend which environmental risk factors to avoid and treat, and perform endoscopic ultrasound and genetic screening where appropriate, might reduce the incidence of invasive pancreatic cancer and/or improve its prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-613
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Consortium
  • Endoscopic ultrasonography
  • Genetics
  • Israel
  • Pancreas
  • Prevention
  • Screening


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