Cancer risk factors are things that put you at higher risk for having cancer. Pancreatic cancer risk factors may include:
- Smoking: people who smoke are more likely to have pancreatic cancer than those who do not. It is the most important risk factor
- Diabetes: people who have diabetes are at an increased risk for pancreatic cancer
- Family health history: having a parent, brother, or sister with pancreatic cancer increases your own risk
- Health history: having a swollen (inflamed) pancreas, called pancreatitis, for a long time increases the risk for pancreatic cancer. Stomach infections caused by a certain type of bacterium also increase this risk
- Being overweight: being overweight or obese increases the risk for pancreatic cancer
- Gender and age: Men and people over age 55 are more likely to get pancreatic cancer than are women and people under age 55
- Liver problems: people who have scarring of the liver, called cirrhosis, are at increased risk for pancreatic cancer
- Being around certain chemicals: being exposed to certain chemicals used to kill bugs and animals (pesticides , dyes, and chemicals used to refine metal increases the risk for pancreatic cancer
Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about risk factors for pancreatic cancer.
To the right are examples of organizations and resources you may find helpful. Click on the links to visit those websites and learn more.