Habits Secretly Increase Your Pancreatic Cancer Risk, Say Medical Experts – Eat This, Not That

Pancreatic cancer affects 3% of the US population and is one of the deadliest forms of cancer because early detection is rare. The American Cancer Society says, “Pancreatic cancer is difficult to detect early. The pancreas is deep inside the body, so healthcare providers cannot see or feel early tumors during routine physical exams. People usually have no symptoms until the cancer has grown very large. or has already spread to other organs.” While genetics and age play a role in increasing risk, so do unhealthy habits that can be avoided. Eat this, not that! Healthprick with Sean Marchese, MS, RN, RN The mesothelioma center with a background in oncology clinical trials and over 15 years of direct patient care experience who shares the bad habits that increase your risk of pancreatic cancer. Read on and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure signs you’ve already had COVID.


Marchesa says:The pancreas plays a vital role in digestion by producing the fluids needed to break down food into usable molecules and by releasing hormones that maintain blood sugar levels. The most common form of pancreatic malignancy occurs in the duct between the liver and the pancreas, known as pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Traditional treatment methods are limited for pancreatic cancer, with surgery being the best option if the cancer is caught early. Targeted treatments, such as immunotherapy, will likely become more widespread as research continues.”

woman in bed with cancer

Marchese explains:Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed at an advanced stage because symptoms only appear when other organs are affected. Depending on how far the cancer has spread, treatment options may include traditional chemotherapy, surgery, radiation therapy, or a combination of approaches. However, pancreatic cancer is so deadly because pancreatic tumors notoriously respond poorly to treatment. Pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all primary cancers, with an overall 5-year relative survival rate of 11%. Five-year survival improves to 42% for patients with limited progression. About 70% of patients with pancreatic cancer live less than a year after diagnosis.

no smoking sign

Smoking is not only one of the most important risk factors for pancreatic cancer, but it is also one of the most preventable,” Marchese points out. “Inflammation caused by cigarette carcinogens leads to the formation of fibrotic tissue in the pancreas and the development of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, which is more likely in people with certain genetic risk factors. Smoking almost doubles the risk of pancreatic cancer compared to those who have never smoked. The American Cancer Society reports that approximately 25% of pancreatic cancer cases are caused by smoking, but cigars and smokeless tobacco may also contribute to this risk.”

slices of different cuts of red meat on a wooden cutting board

Marchese states, “Researchers noted a positive correlation between pancreatic cancers and red or processed meats such as pork and beef. The extent of the risk is still under investigation and the exact cause remains unknown. An analysis of nearly a dozen studies found that an increase in red meat consumption of 120 g per day (about a quarter-pound hamburger or four strips of bacon) was associated with an increase in 30% risk of pancreatic cancer in men but not in women. The study also found that for every 50g increase in processed meat per day, the overall relative risk increased by 19% for both men and women.”

drinking alcohol

“Heavy alcohol consumption can lead to chronic pancreatitis, a long-term inflammatory process in the pancreas,” explains Was walking. “Over time, the increased inflammation causes damage to scar tissue and cells, increasing the risk of pancreatic cancer. Your body converts alcohol into acetaldehyde which can damage DNA, and when your cells attempt to repair the damage, errors in the process can lead to tumor formation. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to many other serious problems, such as high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease, as well as other cancers of the mouth, throat, liver, colon, rectum and breast.”

Woman sitting at gym with pink pilates ball.

Marchese shares, “An inactive lifestyle can lead to many health problems, such as heart disease and cancer. Very obese people are about 20% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer. The risk is even higher for those who gain a lot of weight after adulthood or carry a lot of it around the waist, an indicator of visceral fat that can damage organs. Low levels of activity can also lead to type 2 diabetes, another risk factor for pancreatic cancer.”

Heather Newgen

Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather is currently a freelancer for several publications. Read more

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