Probably one of the least understood cancers that exists today, is pancreatic cancer. Over the last 40 years little advancement has actually been made as to the understanding of the disease, and about what actually causes it. However, the little that is understood, is that when our bodily DNA mutations become damaged at some point, they often result in cancer.
Cancer biology principles and large population-based studies do indicate certain factors which may be associated to this DNA mutation damage. However, these understandings are still only in their early stages, something which seems to be incredible even after 40 years of studying the disease. Possible associated causes of pancreatic cancer are:
1. Genetics – Where the disease is inherited from either the mother or the father at birth, there is a stronger likely hood that an individual may be more at risk from the disease.
2. Age – Over 80% of pancreatic cancer cases are diagnosed in patients who are between the ages of 60 – 80 years. This is believed due to cell damage within the body often happening with maturity.
3. Chance – Where a mistake is made during cell division, when a copy of the gene is not made correctly. Believed due to the body not being 100% perfect.
4. Race – Studies made in the U.S. show that the African-American population are more at risk from pancreatic cancer than the white population. This may be due to socio-economic factors and heavy-smoking.
5. Diabetes – Increases the risk of pancreatic cancer in adults, including long-term adult-onset diabetes, more commonly known as Type 2 diabetes.
6. Chronic Pancreatitis – Is when a long-term inflammation of the pancreas exists and causes pancreatitis, something which has also been linked to pancreatic cancer.
7. Obesity – Bad eating habits that cause individuals to put-on too much weight and eventually become obese.
8. Diet – Where a high content of cholesterol is eaten like what is found in fried foods and meat, although diets of fresh fruits and vegetables may significantly reduce the risks.
9. Smoking – Generally smoking is known to be the cause of many types of cancer, with cancer of the pancreas no exception. It is believed that smoking almost doubles the risk of an individual developing the disease, and is said to be the number one cause of it.
10. Heavy Drinking – Recent studies have linked heavy drinkers to cancer of the pancreas, usually where an individual puts on excessive weight due to the excess of alcohol.
Although bad eating and drinking habits are not believed to be the only causes of pancreatic cancer, as with most cancers, a more healthy lifestyle can certainly go some way to helping with its prevention.
Philip Albert Edmonds-Hunt was born in the County of Oxfordshire in the United Kingdom. A well travelled man who today lives in Mexico with his family. He works as a Freelance Writer, Researcher and English Teacher, spending much of his time researching and writing about cancer with the hope that his writings may benefit other cancer sufferers. If you feel that you have benefited from reading one of his articles; please recommend them to other cancer sufferers who may also benefit. If you are interested in reading more about pancreatic cancer, check out: http://www.cancercry.com/category/pancreatic-cancer/