Risk Factors for Pancreatic Cancer
A risk factor is something that increases your chances of developing cancer.
It is possible to develop pancreatic cancer with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing
Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include the following:
Most cases of pancreatic cancer (about 85%) occur in people over the age of fifty. The average age at diagnosis is 65.
Some studies suggest that occupational exposure to certain chemicals may increase your risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Chemicals that seem to be particularly associated with pancreatic cancer include those used in the petroleum and dry-cleaning industries, pesticides, and dyes.
Although some research has shown that people with
A diet that is low in fiber and high in fat may increase your risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Family History of Cancer
Some families seem to have a genetic predisposition to develop certain types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer. If your mother, father, brother, or sister has had pancreatic cancer, you are three times as likely to develop the disease yourself. The presence of
About 10% of pancreatic cancers are due to hereditary factors. The following hereditary conditions increase the risk of pancreatic cancer:
History of Chronic Pancreatitis
If you’ve suffered from chronic pancreatitis, which is inflammation of the pancreas, you may have an increased chance of developing pancreatic cancer.
History of Gastric Resection
If you have a gastric resection in the past, your chance of developing pancreatic cancer is increased two to three fold.
Men are about twice as likely as women to develop pancreatic cancer.
Obesity, especially morbid obesity, increased the risk of pancreatic cancer.
If you suffer from
African Americans have a greater risk—30%-40%—of developing pancreatic cancer than Caucasians. People of Hispanic origin or Asian Americans are less commonly affected.
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What you need to know about cancer of the pancreas. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/cancerinfo/wyntk/pancreas#2 . Accessed April 8, 2009.
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Last reviewed February 2009 by
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