Additionally, early signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer are subtle and often present as nonspecific symptoms that appear and evolve over time, the researchers noted.
The results of analyzing web queries pointed to early cancer detection -- as much as five months before a physician's diagnosis.
"Web search logs may offer a useful source of signals for pancreatic [cancer] screening, with significant lead time," the researchers said. "Because pancreatic [cancer] may progress from stage I to stage IV in just over 1 year, this screening capability could increase 5-year survival."
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.