There is no way to know for sure if you’re going to get pancreatic cancer. And there is no known way to prevent it. Certain factors can make you more likely to get this type of cancer than another person. These are called risk factors. Some risk factors, such as age or family history, are out of your control. Other risk factors, such as smoking and diet, can be controlled. Here are the most common risk factors for pancreatic cancer.
I smoke or have smoked in the past.
Smoking is a risk factor for many types of cancer. It is also a risk factor for pancreatic cancer.
My diet isn’t well balanced.
Some studies suggest that your risk of pancreatic cancer is higher if you eat a lot of fat, don’t eat many fruits or vegetables, or drink a lot of alcohol. Some studies have also suggested there may be an increased risk if you eat a lot of red meat, pork, or processed meats.
I am over age 55.
Your risk of getting pancreatic cancer is higher if you are over 55 years old. Most people with pancreatic cancer are diagnosed when they are over age 65.
I have type 2 diabetes.
If you have type 2 diabetes (the type that usually starts in adulthood), your risk of pancreatic cancer is greater. Researchers are not yet sure how diabetes and pancreatic cancer are linked.
I am very overweight.
Very overweight or obese people are more likely to develop pancreatic cancer. So are people who don't get much exercise.
I have chronic inflammation of my pancreas (called pancreatitis).
Having pancreatitis for many years increases your risk of pancreatic cancer.
Others in my family have had pancreatic cancer.
If others in your family have had pancreatic cancer, your risk for getting it is higher. About 10 percent of people with pancreatic cancer inherited the tendency to develop this cancer. If you have inherited this tendency, lifestyle risks such as smoking, eating a high-fat diet, and using cancer-causing chemicals increase your risk even more.
I have worked with chemicals.
Exposure to some kinds of pesticides, dyes, and chemicals used in metal refining dry may raise your risk of getting pancreatic cancer.
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