The answer to the question 'how to prevent pancreatic cancer' lies in understanding the pancreatic cancer risk factors. These risk factors include aspects that increase the chances of a person getting cancer. That said, it is important to know that having these risk factors does not guarantee a pancreatic cancer diagnosis; they only increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Being aware of the multiple pancreatic cancer risk factors and the appropriate measures that increase the chances of pancreatic cancer prevention is important.
Here are some of the most common risk factors for pancreatic cancer that can increase the chances of an individual suffering from cancer.
Increasing age is one of the common risk factors for pancreatic cancer, and it is found mostly in adults who are over the age of 65. This is because with increasing age, the human body is more exposed to risk factors such as genetic mutations, obesity, pancreatic changes, and cellular aging.
Tobacco consumption is also one of the most important pancreatic cancer risk factors. Tobacco contains different carcinogens, which are known as cancer-causing objects, that increase the risk of getting the disease. Some of the chemicals, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), nitrosamines, and acrylamides, found in tobacco products are associated with pancreatic carcinoma.
Having a family history of pancreatic cancer can also increase one’s chances of developing it. In addition, harsh environments and shared genetic traits also make an individual vulnerable to cancer.
Inherited genetic mutations are also considered among the common pancreatic cancer risk factors. The reason is that these mutations can hamper the functioning of the genes involved in the repair process of DNA, which can increase the risk of developing carcinoma of the pancreas.
Chronic pancreatitis leads to long-term inflammation in the pancreas, which can damage the DNA of the pancreatic cells, increasing the chances of developing pancreatic cancer.
Diabetes is also considered one of the most common pancreatic cancer risk factors. People suffering from type 2 diabetes often get high blood sugar levels, which can hamper the working of the pancreas, eventually increasing the risk of getting cancer.
Obesity or being overweight can lead to chronic inflammation, insulin resistance, and hormonal alterations. All these factors can increase one’s chances of developing pancreatic cancer.
Exposure to chemicals such as tobacco, pesticides, metalworking fluids, benzene, dietary chemicals, and industrial chemicals can also increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Excessive alcohol consumption can result in specific metabolic changes that may contribute to increasing the chances of getting pancreatic cancer.
Here are specific, effective pancreatic cancer prevention measures that can go a long way in helping individuals with high-risk factors.
Refraining from tobacco use is a significant pancreatic cancer prevention measure that an individual can adopt. By reducing exposure to harmful carcinogens present in tobacco, it is possible to bring down one’s pancreatic cancer risk.
As alcohol is also among the major risk factors for pancreatic cancer, limiting its consumption surely helps in the possible prevention of the disease.
Being overweight can expose the body to a high risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Thus, maintaining a healthy weight is highly helpful in reducing the risk of this cancer.
Though there are no specific pancreatic cancer foods to avoid, it is always recommended to eat healthy and avoid highly processed and unhealthy foods.
Staying physically active helps with weight management, improved digestive health, and reduced inflammation, which are important to reduce one’s pancreatic cancer risk.
Managing chronic conditions such as type-2 diabetes, chronic pancreatitis, obesity, and high blood pressure can improve the chances of pancreatic cancer prevention.
Having a family history of pancreatic cancer plays a significant role in increasing the risk of getting the cancer. Thus, it is advisable to discuss the genetic risk, if any, with the doctor for a possible intervention that can help reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Regular checkups help the doctor recognize any warning signals of pancreatic cancer within the body. Also, since the symptoms of pancreatic cancer are often confused with those of less serious diseases, it is better to opt for regular health checkups.
Being aware of the different symptoms of pancreatic cancer is important, and if one starts experiencing them, immediate medical attention is recommended.
The question, “How to avoid pancreatic cancer?” has no absolute answer, but there are certain possible preventive measures that can be helpful. Also, a detailed understanding of the pancreatic cancer risk factors helps doctors in the effective management of the cancer.