There is no sure-fire way to prevent pancreatic cancer. Experts do not know exactly what causes it, however, there are some things that you can do to reduce your risk of pancreatic cancer.
It is important to know your family history. If you have two or more first-degree relatives with pancreatic cancer, then you will be more likely to develop it yourself. You are also at an increased risk for developing pancreatic cancer if you have a relative who developed the condition before the age of 50.
Additionally, if you have a family history of pancreatitis, then your chance of getting pancreatic cancer is higher. Pancreatitis is a condition that causes inflammation of the pancreas. It is estimated that 10 percent of pancreatic cancer are linked to family history. You may have to get regular screenings if you are at an increased risk for developing pancreatic cancer due to your family history.
Unfortunately, family history is not something that you can change. One of the risk factors that you can control is smoking. If you smoke, then you are 50 percent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer. Smoking also plays a role in about 20 to 30 percent of pancreatic cancer cases.
If you are currently a smoker, then you should talk to your doctor about things that you can do to quit. Not only will you reduce your risk of pancreatic cancer if you quit but you will also protect your overall health.
Eat a Healthy Diet
You should make sure that you include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet. The nutrients that are in fruits and vegetables can protect against cancer. They can also help you maintain a healthy body weight. Studies have shown that obese people are 20 percent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer. A healthy diet can also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that 50 to 80 percent of people with pancreatic cancer have diabetes or impaired glucose intolerance.
Limit Alcohol Use
Alcohol use can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. Studies have shown that people who have more than three drinks per day are more likely to die from pancreatic cancer. Drinkers are 30 percent more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than those who do not drink.
A portion of the alcohol is metabolized in the pancreas. Alcohol is toxic to the cells. It can also cause changes in the cells that can lead to inflammation. Studies have also shown that pancreatitis can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Avoid Exposure to Carcinogens
A carcinogen is an agent that can cause cancer. It causes changes in the DNA. Pollution is an example of a carcinogen. There are also carcinogens in the workplace and your home. Additionally, there are carcinogens in the environment such as radon gas and ultraviolet rays. You will not be able to avoid carcinogens completely, however, limiting your exposure helps.