Causes of Pancreatic Cancer
One question that continues to baffles doctors, researchers, and scientists is “What causes pancreatic cancer?” Although millions of dollars, possibly billions, have been poured into finding the answer to this question, it has yet to be determined. Some people have claimed that cancer is genetic, while others believe that the root causes of cancer lie in a person’s environment. Still others point to both of these factors as leading causes of pancreatic cancer.
While doctors continue to search for the pancreas cancer causes, it is important to note that several risk factors have been identified. In addition to the risk factors associated with cancer, there are also some signs that patients will occasionally exhibit which can be taken as strong signs of pancreatic cancer. Paying attention to these risk factors and early signs of pancreatic cancer may lead to an early diagnosis and more effective treatment.
Risk Factors for Pancreatic Cancer
One of the biggest problems facing doctors who attempt to diagnose pancreatic cancer is that most patients show almost no symptoms until the cancer has already evolved to a stage in which treatment is high ineffective. Luckily, there are several risk factors that can help to determine whether or not a patient may be more disposed to developing pancreatic cancer. While these are not confirmed causes of pancreas cancer, they do give doctors a head start on catching pancreas cancer.
Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include:
Diabetes – There is a slight increase in the likelihood of developing pancreatic cancer in patients who have diabetes. Doctors have debated whether the diabetes causes pancreatic cancer or whether the pancreatic cancer causes diabetes. Smoking – Smoking is a well-known cause of pancreatic cancer. The risk gradually decreases when a person quits smoking. Diet – Some studies suggest that diet does not play a role in pancreatic cancer, but others have found that eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoiding excess consumption of meat can decrease the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Obesity – Exercise and a healthy lifestyle, as well as maintaining a healthy weight, are all good ways to help prevent colon cancer. Healthy amounts of body fat and regular exercise all contribute to keeping the body free of cancer cells. Genetics – No specific pancreatic cancer gene has been located, but around 10% of people with pancreatic cancer have an immediate family member who has also had pancreatic cancer. Further studies are being conducted to determine if pancreatic cancer is genetic.
Signs of Pancreatic Cancer
There are few early indicators of pancreatic cancer, but some people happen to display symptoms earlier than others. These early signs of pancreas cancer include: Weight loss
Digestive problems are the most likely symptoms to develop early, as the other symptoms are normally the result of more advanced interaction between cancer and the body. However, if you experience any of these pancreatic cancer signs, and you meet one or more of the risk factors for pancreatic cancer, it is important to consult your doctor immediately. The doctors at the Pancreatic Health Center can help you to decide what your risk level is for pancreatic cancer, and how wary you should be of pancreatic cancer symptoms.