Causes of Pancreatic Cancer

There are many causes of pancreatic cancer but a lot of people develop it without any specific risk factors. In fact, doctors have not been able to find many risks associated with pancreatic cancer. Risks of pancreatic cancer are not clearly known, but increasing age is considered to be the biggest risk as most people experience this cancer in their advanced age. In fact, individuals over the age of 60 are more prone to developing pancreas cancer than others. The cancer may also be genetic in nature. Mutations of the genes BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 are both associated with the cancer. Though it is rare, doctors do believe that people who have someone in their family with pancreatic cancer are prone to developing the cancer themselves. Though ethnicity is not always a factor, African Americans are at an increased risk of developing the condition.

Though there are no identifiable causes of the condition, doctors seem to believe that certain lifestyle behaviors may increase the proneness to pancreas cancer. A history of diabetes, prolonged tobacco or alcohol use, obesity and a largely sedentary lifestyle can also increase your risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Infection from hepatitis B and H. pylori can also increase the risk of developing this cancer. Pancreatic cysts are often considered to be the cause of pancreatic cancer.

Frequently asked questions
  1. Albert B. Lowenfels, Patrick Maisonneuve, Epidemiology and risk factors for pancreatic cancer, Best Practice & Research Clinical Gastroenterology, Volume 20, Issue 2, April 2006, Pages 197-209, ISSN 1521-6918, 10.1016/j.bpg.2005.10.001.
  2. Andrea Mancuso, Fabio Calabrò, Cora N. Sternberg, Current therapies and advances in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology, Volume 58, Issue 3, June 2006, Pages 231-241, ISSN 1040-8428, 10.1016/j.critrevonc.2006.02.004.