Research has shown that people with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop pancreatic cancer.
Studies have found the following risk factors:
- Age - The likelihood of developing pancreatic cancer increases with age. Most pancreatic cancers occur in people over the age of 60.
- Smoking - Cigarette smokers are two to three times more likely than nonsmokers to develop pancreatic cancer.
- Diabetes - Pancreatic cancer occurs more often in people who have diabetes than in people who do not.
- Being male - More men than women are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
- Being African American - African Americans are more likely than Asians, Hispanics, or Caucasians to get pancreatic cancer.
- Family history - The risk for developing pancreatic cancer triples if a person's mother, father, sister, or brother had the disease. Also, a family history of colon or ovarian cancer increases the risk of pancreatic cancer.
- Chronic pancreatitis - Chronic pancreatitis is a painful condition of the pancreas. Some evidence suggests that chronic pancreatitis may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
- Environment - Exposure to certain chemicals may increase risk for pancreatic cancer.
- Dietary fat - A diet high in fat may increase the chance of getting pancreatic cancer.