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Pancreatic Cancer: Top 7 Risk Factors For Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer causes are still unknown, but its risk factors can be outlined. Click here to know the risk factors linked to pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic Cancer: Top 7 Risk Factors For Pancreatic Cancer

10% people inherit pancreatic cancer genetically


  1. Pancreatic cancer is deadly disease which develops in the pancreas
  2. Smoking doubles the risk of pancreatic cancer
  3. Diabetes is an important risk factor of pancreatic cancer

A risk factor is anything which increases your likelihood of contracting a disease. Just like eating ice-creams and drinking cold beverages too often can increase your risk of catching a cold, certain bad habits can increase your risk of contracting cancer. In this article, we shall discuss the risk factors for pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is another deadly disease which develops in the pancreas, acquires its DNA and causes its cells to multiply at an abnormal rate. The causes of this deadly form of cancer are still unknown; however, its risk factors are well-known.

It can't be conclusively stated that a person with any particular risk factor is sure to contract pancreatic cancer. Nevertheless, it is good to keep a check on one's health; after all, prevention is better than cure. Statistically, pancreatic cancer develops in only 1% of the cases when a person is at an average risk of the disease. Sometimes the cancer gene mutation takes place at birth itself. But the good news is that there is no risk of passing it on genetically to one's children. Only 10% people inherit this form of cancer genetically.

Also read: Take Note Of These Early Warning Signs Of Pancreatic Cancer

Here's a list of the 7 major risk factors for pancreatic cancer. Take a look.

1. Smoking

Smoking affects your risk of cancer to a great extent. As far as pancreatic cancer is concerned, smoking simply doubles the risk of cancer. A study found that one in five pancreatic cancer cases were caused due to smoking. After quitting, the risk factor declines by up to 50%. This risk drops to normal in people who give up smoking well in time. So objectively, it is the leading preventable risk factor for pancreatic cancer.


Pancreatic cancer: Smoking doubles the risk
Photo Credit: iStock

2. Age

Your risk of contracting pancreatic cancer increases with your age. Most of the pancreatic cancer cases are diagnosed in people over 45 years of age. Statistically, 90% cases are diagnosed in people over 55 years of age and 70% of them are in people over 65 years of age.


Pancreatic cancer: Age is an important risk factor
Photo Credit: iStock

3. Obesity

This also includes a poor diet and increased consumption of alcohol. Regular consumption of food high in terms of fat increases your risk of pancreatic cancer. Research says that obesity increases the risk of pancreatic cancer. According to an estimate, 8% of the total cases are due to obesity. Binge-drinking alcohol is also linked to this disease.


Pancreatic cancer: Obesity is an important risk factor
Photo Credit: iStock

4. Diabetes

Diabetes is an important risk factor for pancreatic cancer. Many studies reveal that if a person has been diabetic for a very long time, he or she is at a higher risk of pancreatic cancer. Also, people who suddenly develop diabetes in adulthood are at a higher risk of this deadly disease. However, it cannot be conclusively stated that diabetes results in pancreatic cancer.


Pancreatic cancer: diabetes is an important risk factor
Photo Credit: iStock

5. Chronic pancreatitis

Pancreatitis refers to inflammation of the pancreas. When it continues to affect you for a prolonged period of time, it is known as chronic pancreatitis. Long-term inflammation in the pancreas is linked to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

6. Gender

Men are believed to be at a higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer than women. This is due to the common assumption that men are more prone to smoking than women.

Pancreatic cancer: Men are more prone to this disease
Photo Credit: iStock

  7. Family history

Despite a low likelihood, pancreatic cancer in some cases can be inherited from an immediate family member. 5 to 10% patients get affected by the disease because an immediate family member had been suffering from this disease. Several different genes have been linked to the disease but no specific pancreatic cancer gene has been identified yet.

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information. 


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