Pancreatic cancer is the 10th most common malignancy and the 4th largest cancer killer in adults. Surgery offers the only chance of curing these patients. Complete surgical resection is associated with a 5-year survival rate of between 20 and 30%. The challenge is how to best select those patients for curative surgery. Early studies demonstrated excellent sensitivity of EUS in detecting pancreatic tumors in comparison to CT. Similarly, EUS showed an 85-94 % accuracy rate for T staging and 70-80 % accuracy rate for N staging. Later studies report on substantially less TN staging accuracy for EUS. Possible explanations and the problem of vascular involvement assessment by EUS will be provided. Considering the role of EUS in M staging and a comparison between EUS, MRI, and positron emission tomography, scanning will be presented. A diagnostic algorithm for the evaluation of patients with a suspected pancreatic mass will be offered, stressing the pivotal role of EUS.
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