Limor Appelbaum has seen too many patients whose first sign of a fatal illness came too late.
Often it’s yellowed eyes from jaundice, caused by a cancerous tumor on the pancreas that has grown so large it presses against the bile duct system. By this point, little can be done. “All we can really offer them is something that can prolong life by a few months,” and comfort care, said Appelbaum, a staff scientist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Only 11 percent of people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are alive five years later.