Pancreatic Cancer Treatments Prevention

Pancreatic cancer cannot be prevented in every instance. In most cases, pancreatic cancer is not diagnosed until the cancer is in its later stages because the symptoms of pancreatic cancer resemble those of other diseases and conditions.

However, while you can’t stop the development of pancreatic cancer, you can take measures to reduce your risk factors, particularly if pancreatic cancer runs in your family.

Pancreatic Cancer Prevention: Genetics

Pancreatic cancer can run in families. In fact, people who have had a close family member, such as a brother, sister, mother or father, who has suffered from pancreatic cancer are three times more likely than the general population to develop this cancer themselves.

Pancreatic cancer patients who develop the disease because of heredity are thought to make up roughly 10 percent of all diagnosed cases. Families with histories of colon or ovarian cancer are also at greater risk of getting pancreatic cancer.

Fortunately, some of the genetic abnormalities associated with pancreatic cancer have been identified. If one of your close family members has had pancreatic cancer, your physician might recommend genetic testing. While experts are not yet able to screen for pre- or early-pancreatic cancer cells, genetic counselors can look at your family history and assess risks to help guide you to possible preventive measures or treatments.

Pancreatic Cancer Primary Prevention

Whether you’re at risk because of family history or just concerned in general about developing pancreatic or other types of cancer, experts agree that smoking can increase the odds of getting cancer. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quit. Not only will you reduce the risk of getting cancer, you’ll enjoy a healthier life.

In addition to smoking, a poor diet has been associated with developing pancreatic cancer. If you have a lopsided diet, you should cut back on fats and increase the number of foods that are high in fiber. Obesity is another risk factor that might contribute to pancreatic cancer. Again, improving your diet is bound improve your overall health.

Prevention for Pancreatic Cancer: Studies

Scientists are looking for new ways to prevent pancreatic cancer. These are some of the promising studies:

  • A study by the National Cancer Institute showed that people who took more vitamin D had fewer occurrences of pancreatic cancer. However, the purpose of the study was not to determine whether vitamin D had an impact on pancreatic cancer prevention and does not “”prove”” that vitamin D prevents this cancer. More studies are planned.
  • A study by the University of Minnesota School of Public Health indicated that aspirin may help prevent pancreatic cancer in post-menopausal women. >
  • A study from the University of California San Francisco indicated that people who eat five or more servings of yellow vegetables per day, such as corn, carrots or yams, may have a lower risk of getting pancreatic cancer. Leafy green vegetables such as spinach may also reduce the risk of getting this illness.

Resources

Cancer Consultants (n.d.). Cancer Treatment and Prevention: Pancreatic Cancer. Retrieved July 3, 2007, from the Cancer Consultants Web site: http://patient.cancerconsultants.com/CancerTreatment_Pancreatic_Cancer.aspx?LinkId=54009.

Hruban, R.H., Canto, M.I.,