- 3,000 3D pancreas models sent to GP clinics
- 20 per cent of GP patients have symptoms that mirror pancreatic cancer
- Pancreatic cancer tipped to become the second biggest fatal cancer
The symptoms for pancreatic cancer overlap with the symptoms of about 20 per cent of what a GP sees every day, so naturally pancreatic cancer isn’t front of mind.
The Jreissati Pancreatic Centre at Epworth has sent 3,000 pancreas models to GP clinics across Victoria to improve education and awareness of pancreatic cancer.
The disease is the third largest cause of cancer deaths and is expected to become the second largest cancer killer by 2030.
Associate Professor Andrew Metz, Director of the Jreissati Pancreatic Centre at Epworth, said GPs may only see one or two cases of pancreatic cancer in their clinic in a year.
“The symptoms for pancreatic cancer overlap with the symptoms of about 20 per cent of what a GP sees every day, so naturally pancreatic cancer isn’t front of mind,” A/Prof Metz said.
“The earlier you can diagnose pancreatic cancer, the better the outcomes. At the moment 80 per cent of pancreatic cancer tumours are inoperable by the time they are found.”
The 3D pancreas models are the brainchild of Richmond GP, Dr Andrew Davaris.
“If we are going to make an impact on early detection and survival rates for pancreatic cancer, we need to be aware of it in general practice,” Dr Davaris said.
“This is something doctors can have on their desks to educate patients about other diseases, but it always reminds them to think about pancreatic cancer. You have to have it foremost in your head or you can miss the diagnosis.”
The model covers the gastrolienal tract with particular focus on the pancreas and gallbladder, helping GPs to educate patients on their condition.
“The model also has a QR code that GPs can look up to make sure they aren’t missing anything that might lead to a pancreatic cancer diagnosis, such as someone with stable diabetes suddenly going haywire,” Dr Davaris said.
The Jreissati Pancreatic Centre at Epworth launched in February 2021. The centre is the first of its kind in Australia and has already cared for more than 180 patients and commenced 19 research projects and clinical trials.