Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a lethal disease. PDAC is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States and Japan based on epidemiological data. Early detection of PDAC is very important to improve the prognosis of PDAC. Early detection of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) requires further examination after selecting cases with risk factors for the condition, such as family history, hereditary pancreatic carcinoma syndrome, intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms, or chronic pancreatitis. The Japan Study Group on the Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer has investigated and clarified the clinicopathological features for the early diagnosis of PDAC. In Japan, an algorithm for the early diagnosis of PDAC, which utilized the cooperation of local clinics and regional general hospitals, has been a breakthrough in the detection of early-stage PDAC. Further approaches for the early diagnosis of PDAC are warranted.
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