Pancreatic Cancer: Are you at risk?


There has been a lot of curiosity about the topic of pancreatic cancer and its causes. Well, that’s fair enough given that in the modern era, there has been a fair increase in the number of cases involving such an ailment. Every year, thousands of people all around the world develop such a disease without actually knowing what caused it in the first place.

However, it goes a long way to understand the risk factors associated with pancreatic cancer. Being aware of the risk factors will help you in staying alert and would also enable you to take adequate measures required to reduce the chances of getting affected by pancreatic cancer. So, let’s figure out the common causes of pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer causes

If you don’t know already, pancreatic cancer is caused whenever the growth of mutated cells gets out of control, as eventually forms a tumor. Interestingly, despite the advancements made in the surgical and medical fields of human civilization, pancreatic cancer causes still remain a mystery. However, in this regard, it’s worth noting that several risk factors or causes are strongly linked to the emergence and growth of this specific disease. Some of them include smoking tobacco and obesity. Additionally, people who have hereditary cancer syndrome or any specific genetic mutations might face a higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

Risk Factors

Here we have mentioned the known risk factors of pancreatic cancer. To make it easier for you to relate, we have distributed the below-mentioned causes into three classes; general causes, lifestyle causes, and genetic risk factors.

Here are the general risk factors:

  • Age: It’s important to know that more than 90% of the overall pancreatic cancer patients belong to the age group exceeding 55 years.
  • Gender: Interestingly enough, men are more vulnerable to fall prey to this disease as compared to women.
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Helicobacter pylori infection

Now, let’s discuss the lifestyle risk factors:

Smoking cigarettes: Well, this particular point might be alerting for all those heavy smokers out there. Approximately one-third of all the pancreatic cancer cases are directly linked with smoking cigarettes. Tobacco products contain carcinogens (these are cancer-causing chemicals). Carcinogens can damage your pancreas, and more importantly, smoking might add to the overall risks associated with several other conditions, such as long-term pancreas inflammation (chronic pancreatitis). Similarly, the risk of obesity and diabetes might also become more relevant in case an individual continues smoking for a longer period.

Genetic risk factors

Now let’s shift our focus to the genetic risk factors. In this regard, you must know that over 10 percent of overall pancreatic cancer cases are thought to have a direct relation to genetic factors. This means that an inherited gene mutation might get passed on from parents to their kids, and eventually, pancreatic cancer might be visible among the generations to come. However, all these genetic conditions never directly cause pancreatic cancer, although they might increase your risk of getting affected by this particular disease.

Here are the genetic mutations that are considered to be risk factors for pancreatic cancer:

  • Familial pancreatitis
  • Neurofibromatosis, type 1
  • Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome
  • Familial melanoma

We always recommend that you consult with your doctor to stay safe.