- While some forms of cancer have early symptoms, pancreatic cancer is a silent killer that will claim an estimated 41,780 American lives in 2016 alone.
- Pancreatic cancer can strike anyone, with or without risk factors, not everyone falls into the category of those who should undergo the in-depth screening process for pancreatic cancer.
- At risk individuals should be screened as most times pancreatic cancer won’t cause any symptoms until the disease has advanced to less treatable stages.
- Diabetics are at increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer, specifically those over 50 with new-onset diabetes.
- According to University of Chicago Medicine, approximately 85% of those who develop pancreatic cancer have new-onset diabetes or hyperglycemia (most of them within 3 years of their diagnosis).
- Smokers are up to 3 times more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than non-smokers.
- Those with high levels of the H. Pylori bacteria are at higher risk of developing some cancers, most commonly stomach cancer, but may also be at increase risk for pancreatic cancer.
- People who are over 50 years of age with any of the above-listed risk factors are at higher risk than those under 50 (90% of pancreatic cases occur in people older than 55), and more men go on to develop this form of cancer than women.
- Those who have had hepatitis B or cirrhosis of the liver also fall into the ‘at risk’ category.
- People with certain genetic syndromes are at increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
- Some studies conducted to suggest that a diet rich in produce lowers the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
- Experiments on lab rats do show that high-protein, high-fat diets often develop pancreatic cancer, but that data doesn’t necessarily translate to humans.
- Most studies on obesity hold the consensus that obesity does raise the risk of developing pancreatic (and many other kinds of) cancer.
What Lifestyle Changes May Lower Your Risk?
You can’t ensure prevention of cancer, but some lifestyle tweaks you can make to lower your risk of developing pancreatic cancer include:
- Quit smoking – smoking more than doubles your risk of developing pancreatic cancer
- Loose excess weight – many studies done on obesity prove it raises the risk of pancreatic cancer
- Exercise regularly – those who lead sedentary lives often suffer more serious health problems
- Limit the amount of processed meats in your diet as they have been linked to pancreatic and colorectal cancers
- Eat a diet rich in fruits and veggies and try to limit saturated fats, excess animal fats or too much alcohol as it is an important factor in lowering the risk of developing many diseases including most cancers.
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