Food for Thought: What are the risk factors for pancreatic cancer?


CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – While most cancer-related deaths have been falling, the rate of death due to pancreatic cancer has been increasing.

Pancreatic cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the U.S. and is projected to be the second leading one within 10 years.

The role of diet and other lifestyle factors on pancreatic cancer risk is not so clear. Some studies show eating more red meat and processed meats like pepperoni, sausage, and bacon can increase risk. Yet, other studies show no link.

Studies on alcohol are also inconsistent. However, chronic alcohol use can lead to chronic pancreatitis and cirrhosis, which definitely do increase pancreatic cancer risk. At this point, experts recommend you eat at least 2½ cups of fruits and vegetables a day and limit red meat to 9 ounces a week.

Also, reach and maintain a healthy weight. Obesity increases the risk of not only pancreatic cancer but all cancers.

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