What're the risk factors for pancreatic cancer?The risk of developing cancer of the pancreas is usually low before the age of 40, but the risk subsequently increases sharply, with most people diagnosed between their sixties and eighties. Risk factors for the development of this disease include environmental factors, medical/surgical factors, genetic factors, and occupational exposures. The presence of a risk
factor does not necessarily mean that an individual will develop cancer, nor does the absence of risk factors mean that an individual will not develop cancer.
Age: The incidence of pancreatic cancer is relatively low in individuals up to age 50, after which it increases significantly. The age group 65 - 79 has the highest incidence of cancer of the pancreas.
Smoking: Smokers develop pancreatic cancer more than twice as often as nonsmokers.
Diet: Frequency of pancreatic cancer may be associated with high intakes of meat and fat.
Medical factors: Pancreatic cancer is more common among individuals with histories of the following conditions: cirrhosis (a chronic liver disease), chronic pancreatitis, diabetes and a history of surgery to the upper digestive tract.
Environmental factors: Long-term exposure to certain chemicals, such as gasoline and related compounds, as well as certain insecticides, may increase the risk of developing cancer of the pancreas.
Genetic predisposition: Possibly 3% of cases of pancreatic cancer are related to genetic disorders.