Pancreatic Cancer - Causes

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What do you suspect are the causes of your pancreatic cancer?

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What are pancreatic cancer causes and risk factors?

About 40,000 cases of pancreatic cancer occur yearly in the United States. Most people who develop pancreatic cancer do so without any predisposing risk factors. Perhaps the biggest risk factor is increasing age; being over the age of 60 puts an individual at greater risk. Rarely, there can be genetic syndromes that run in families that put individuals at higher risk such as BRCA-2 and, to a lesser extent, BRCA-1 gene mutations. Familial syndromes are unusual but it is important to let your doctor know if anyone else in your family has been diagnosed with cancer. Additionally, certain behaviors or conditions are thought to slightly increase an individual's risk for developing pancreatic cancer. For example, African-Americans may be at greater risk as may individuals with close family members who have been previously diagnosed with the disease. Other behaviors or conditions that may put people at risk include tobacco use, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, a history of diabetes, chronic pancreatic inflammation (pancreatitis), and a fatty (or Western) diet. Prior stomach surgery may moderately increase one's risk as can certain chronic infections such as hepatitis B and H. pylori (an infection of the stomach lining). Certain types of pancreatic cysts may put individuals at risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Despite these associated risks, no identifiable cause is found in most people who develop pancreatic cancer.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: SusanG, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

In 2001, I was diagnosed with T-cell Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and was treated with high-dose CHOP chemotherapy. One of the side effects of this chemotherapy is secondary cancers and true to its word, I have had a new cancer every five years like clockwork. Breast cancer twice, and pancreatic cancer eighteen months ago. I had a successful Whipple Procedure and did not even need chemotherapy or radiation follow-up.

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Comment from: Tracey, 35-44 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 11

Alcohol abuse is in my opinion the primary cause of pancreatic cancer.

Was this comment helpful?Yes


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