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Wellness and Pancreatic Cancer Prevention

While much is known about pancreatic diseases like pancreatitis, so far, there are no definitively known causes of pancreatic cancer. But as with any cancer, there are certain risk factors.

Risk factors for pancreatic cancer

  • Smoking
  • Diet
  • Obesity
  • Age—risks increase dramatically after age 50
  • Race—more common in African Americans
  • Family history—tends to run in families
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Medical factors including chronic pancreatitis, jaundice, diabetes or a history of stomach surgery
  • Environmental exposure to certain chemicals such as pesticides, dyes and chemicals related to gasoline

Decrease your risk

Not everyone who has one or more of these risk factors will develop pancreatic cancer. To lower your risks:

  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Eat a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in processed meats
  • Don't smoke smoking is linked to the development of many chronic diseases and cancers, including pancreatic cancer. Click here for more facts about the dangers of smoking and information about Courage to Quit® at NCH, a comprehensive tobacco treatment program for adults
  • Drink alcoholic beverages only in moderation
  • See your doctor at least once a year for a physical exam

If you or someone you love has pancreatic cancer, find out how you can get the best treatment in Chicago. Call HealthConnection for a referral to a doctor specializing in pancreatic or hepatobiliary diseases at 847.618.4968 (4YOU).

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Last Updated 2013/06/28