Though we still have no idea of the causes of pancreatic cancer, certain risk factors have been identified. Having one or several of the risk factors doesn't mean the person is getting or has got pancreatic cancer. Yet he /she should be alert.
People with any of the risk factors are at slightly higher risk than others:
- Genetics. Five percent to 10% of people with pancreatic cancer have an immediate family member who also had it. But scientists have found no "pancreatic cancer gene" yet.
- Diabetes. People with diabetes are not necessarily more likely to get pancreatic cancer but the two have been linked.
- Smoking. Cigarette smoking is well known to increase the risk for pancreatic cancer. The more a person smokes, the higher the risk.
- Obesity and inactivity. Those who are obese and seldom do exercise tend to have a higher risk of getting pancreatic cancer than people who exercise regularly.
- Pancreatic cysts and chronic pancreatitis. People who have one or both of these are at higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
- Diet. A diet high in fat and meat (especially smoked or processed meat) has been linked to pancreatic cancer in animal studies.
Anyway, eating a healthy diet, keeping a healthy weight, and exercising frequently will improve your overall health, and reduce your risk of other health problems.
Keywords: pancreatic cancer risk factors.