Home » Diseases & Conditions » Cancer » Pancreatic Cancer Causes and Risk Factors

Pancreatic Cancer Causes and Risk Factors

Pancreatic cancer is a malignant (cancer) cells found in the tissues of the pancreas. About 95% of pancreatic cancers are Adenocarcinomas. Adenocarcinoma is among the most aggressive of all cancers. It mostly occur in the head of the pancreas, the part nearest the first segment of the small intestine (duodenum). The other 5% include adenosquamous carcinomas, signet ring cell carcinomas, hepatoid carcinomas, colloid carcinomas, undifferentiated carcinomas, and undifferentiated carcinomas with osteoclast-like giant cells.

pancreatic cancer causes and risk factors

In the United States, pancreatic cancer is the third leading causes of cancer-related death in women and the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death in men. Because it is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage, the survival rate is poor compared with that of other types of cancer. Unfortunately, the overall pancreatic cancer incidence and mortally rates have very little changed over the past three decades.

In 2010, approximately 43,000 people in the United States have been diagnosed with this condition, and approximately 36,800 of them have died from the disease.

What Causes Pancreatic Cancer?

Till date, medical researchers have not yet pinpointed the exact causes of pancreatic cancer. However, some experts believe that there are some risk factors are linked to pancreatic cancer, including age, diet, obesity, family history, genetics mutation, race and smoking.

Some risk factors such as diet, obesity, and smoking can be controlled. While some, such as age, gender and family history can not.

Risk factors for Pancreatic Cancer

  • Age
    The risk for developing pancreatic cancer increases with age. Pancreatic cancer are more likely in people over 60 years.
  • Smoking
    Smoking is one of the main causes of pancreatic cancer in both men and women who take in large volumes and very easy to get this cancer.
  • Race
    Studies in the United States have shown that pancreatic cancer is more common in African-American populations than in white populations.
  • Gender
    Pancreatic cancer is more common in men than in women.
  • Family history
    The risk for developing pancreatic cancer increases if you have family members with pancreatic cancer.
  • Diabetes
    Diabetes is both a symptom of pancreatic cancer, and older adult-onset diabetes also increases the risk of pancreatic cancer.
  • Obesity
    Obesity has been identified increases the risk of pancreatic cancer.
  • Diet
    Diets high in red meats, cholesterol fried foods and nitrosamines may increase pancreatic cancer risk, while diets high in fruits and vegetables reduce the risk.
  • Genetic mutations
    Medical research shows that there is a high relationship between pancreatic cancer and other forms of cancer. For example, people with inherited mutations on the BRCA2, a gene responsible for developing breast cancer, have a higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Similarly, inherited colon cancer is associated with high risk for pancreatic cancer.