Pancreatic Cancer – Risk Factors and Causes

As discussed in the earlier article pancreatic cancer develops in the pancreas. There are no known definite reasons for pancreatic cancer but certain factors have been identified. In this article we discuss the risk factors that make a person vulnerable to pancreatic cancer.

Anything that increases the risk of getting a disease is termed as risk Pancreaticfactor. Just because a certain factors recognized as risk factors are found in a person does not imply that person will definitely get that disease.

Risk Factors for Pancreatic Cancer

  • Family Gene

Most often the family gene is the largest factor which contributes to cancer. At birth it is possible to carry genetic mutation of the gene which in turn makes it more likely to develop cancer later in life. Roughly about 10 % of pancreatic cases are cause by inherited gene mutations.

  • Carcinogens

Carcinogens are substances that have a damaging effect on DNA increasing the risk of cancer forming tissue. When exposed to carcinogenic substances such as pesticides, certain chemicals and dyes, the effect on the organ to function normally decreases drastically, by way of the formation of free radicals which damage the cell growth in the organ causing cancerous growths (tumors).

  • Lifestyle Habits and Traits

The risk of developing pancreatic cancer increases in persons who smoke, use smokeless tobacco, are obese, intake of alcohol is high along with and other lifestyle habits and traits. Lifestyle diseases like obesity and diabetes are a cause of concern

What raises an alarm in the case of pancreatic cancer is that the prognosis is not very good, even if there has been early detection. Not detected in the early stages, it spreads fast. Signs and symptoms usually appear at an advanced stage. An uncommon type of cancer, there is no reliable screening test available that can prove helpful for identifying people at average and higher risk

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At the moment, there is no screening test reliable enough to use for pancreatic cancer in people at average risk. Cancer of the pancreas is also a relatively uncommon disease. It would cost a lot of money to screen everyone for a disease that only a few people get. So any screening test must be simple and cheap to perform.

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer can vary from patient to patient, as many of the underlying symptoms are similar to those of other ailments. The symptoms of pancreatic cancer will be specifically dealt in a separate article.


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  • meetunayyar
  • A lawyer by profession, social worker and a fighter against cancer