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Pancreatic cancer risk factors

  • What should I know about pancreatic cancer?

    There's no sure way to prevent pancreatic cancer.

    But it is good to know what might put you at risk - and do something about the factors you can control.

    Pancreatic cancer risk factors you control:

    • Smoking cigarettes can double your chances of pancreatic cancer. Smoking also puts you at risk for many other diseases.
    • Heavy exposure to pesticides, dyes and chemicals for a long time at work might cause pancreatic cancer.
    • Being very overweight and not getting much physical activity may increase the likelihood of pancreatic cancer and other health problems.
    • High-fat diets with a lot of red meat, pork and processed meat might cause pancreatic cancer, according to some studies. Other studies say diets high in fruits and vegetables might prevent pancreatic cancer.

    Pancreatic cancer risk factors you can control:

    • People over the age of 60 have the most cases of pancreatic cancer.
    • More men than women are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
    • If your mother, father, sister or brother had pancreatic cancer, your risk of getting the disease triples. African Americans are more likely than Asians, Hispanics or whites to get pancreatic cancer.
    • Conditions like diabetes and chronic pancreatitis have been connected to pancreatic cancer risks.
  • Can I get screened for pancreatic cancer?

    Generally, there is no screening test for pancreatic cancer.

    If pancreatic cancer runs in your family, you may benefit from genetic counseling. An endoscopic ultrasound or abdominal MRI scan may find abnormalities that might cause cancer.

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