Pancreatic Cancer Risk Factors

Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include:

  • Age - Most pancreatic cancer occurs in people over the age of 45.
  • Smoking - Heavy cigarette smokers are two or three times more likely than non-smokers to develop pancreatic cancer.
  • Obesity and physical inactivity - Pancreatic cancer is more common in people who are very overweight and in people who don't get much physical activity.
  • Diabetes - Pancreatic cancer occurs more often in people who have diabetes than in those who do not.
  • Gender - More men than women are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
  • Race - African Americans are more likely than Asians, Hispanics, or Caucasians to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
  • Family history - The risk for developing pancreatic cancer is higher if a person's mother, father, or a sibling had the disease.
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Exposure - Occupational pesticides, dyes and chemicals used in the metal industry may increase the risk.
  • Some genetic syndromes - This includes the genetic syndrome linked to hereditary pancreatitis.
  • Chronic pancreatitis - this condition of the pancreas has been linked with increased risk for pancreatic cancer.

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