Risk factor — it’s anything that can increase your chance of developing a disease. For this article, we will talk about some of the risk factors for pancreatic cancer, the third leading cause of deaths that are cancer-related in the US.
Some risk factors for pancreatic cancer, unfortunately, cannot be changed. They include:
Your risk of having pancreatic cancer increases with age.
Experts say that pancreatic cancer is more common in men.
Race or ethnicity
Black people and those from Ashkenazi Jewish heritage are at higher risk.
Pancreatic cancer can run in families.
However, these unchangeable risk factors for pancreatic cancer are not the only ones around. There are many other numerous risk factors for the disease over which you have control.
Let’s take a look at the said risk factors for pancreatic cancer:
Your risk of having pancreatic cancer doubles if you are a cigarette smoker, say medical experts. In fact, it is said that for every 4 to 5 cases of pancreatic cancer, 1 is due to smoking cigarettes. The good news is smokers who quit the habit enjoy a considerable drop in risk. So in other words, cigarette smoking is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer that is highly preventable — and dodging the deadly disease starts the moment the person quits.
There are so many different serious health problems that can be linked to obesity, and one of them is pancreatic cancer. Actually, statistics say that around 8% of all cases of cancers, not just pancreatic cancer, have something to do with obesity. Losing weight not only lowers risk factor for pancreatic cancer, but many other diseases as well.
Poor Eating Habits
What you put in your mouth can also dictate whether your risk of having pancreatic cancer is high or low. Is your everyday diet consisting of foods that are high in fat and cholesterol? Do you love processed food products that contain nitrosamines? If you answered “yes” to both questions, then you are at high risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Switching to a healthy diet that consists of plenty of fruits and vegetables can do wonders.
Too Much Alcohol Intake
In moderation, the intake of alcohol actually offers a number of health benefits. However, too much of it can cause all sorts of health nightmares. One of the dangers associated with excessive alcohol consumption is an increased risk of pancreatic cancer. Experts say that it’s most likely due to recurring pancreatitis, which is the inflammation of pancreas due to a number of causes, and one of them is alcoholism.
Exposure to Chemicals
There are certain chemicals that, according to scientific investigations, may increase a person’s risk of having pancreatic cancer. Pesticides, benzene and petrochemicals are some of those chemicals that are considered as risk factors for the disease. There are also certain dyes that are regarded as such.
Now that you are more aware of the risk factors for pancreatic cancer that you have control over, it can be easier to steer clear of the deadly disease. Just remember to:
Ditch cigarette smoking to dodge pancreatic cancer and so many other health problems linked to smoking cigarettes, from lung cancer to heart disease.
Lose excess pounds and stay within your ideal weight. Having your regular dose of exercise can help you get in shape as well as lower your chances of developing pancreatic cancer and numerous other diseases.
Opt for a healthy diet. Steer clear of anything that is fatty and packed with cholesterol. Staying away from cured meats and processed foods is a good idea, too.
Drink alcohol in moderation — 1 serving per day if you’re a woman and up to 2 servings a day if you’re a man — in order to enjoy some of health benefits rather than health issues.
Limit exposure to chemicals in the workplace that are considered as risk factors for pancreatic cancer.
Seek the help of your doctor if you are someone who is at high risk of developing pancreatic cancer due to having many of the risk factors for the deadly disease.