The National Health Service says:
Pancreatic cancer is caused by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in the pancreas, a large gland that’s part of the digestive system.
It’s not fully understood what causes pancreatic cancer, but a number of risk factors for developing the condition have been identified, including:
• age – it mainly affects people aged over 50, with around half of all new cases diagnosed in people aged 75 or over.
• being very overweight
• smoking – around 1 in 3 cases are associated with tobacco use
• having a history of certain health conditions, such as diabetes, long-term inflammation of the pancreas, and stomach ulcers and infections
• In about 1 in 10 cases, pancreatic cancer is inherited.
In “How Not to Die”, Doctor Greger notes that:
• 20 % of pancreatic cancer cases in the US are from smoking.
• Poultry viruses seem to be important. People handling raw chicken regularly have 9 times the rate of pancreatic and liver cancer. A large scale study (“EPIC”) showed a link between chicken consumption (not red meat) and pancreatic cancer.
• Curcumin (Turmeric) appears to be able to reverse precancerous changes in colon cancer. In vitro, similar effects have been found for pancreatic cancer cells.
How to reduce the risk
The American Cancer Society summarises:
There is no sure way to prevent pancreatic cancer. Some risk factors such as age, gender, race, and family history can’t be controlled. But there are things you can do that might lower your risk.
• Don’t smoke: Smoking is the most important avoidable risk factor for pancreatic cancer.
• Stay at a healthy weight. Eat a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant foods. Choose whole-grain breads, pastas, and cereals instead of refined grains, and eat fish, poultry, or beans instead of processed meat and red meat.
• Limit alcohol use: Heavy alcohol use has been tied to pancreatic cancer
What do I do?
I don’t smoke, and am not overweight, and have no family history of this cancer. Of the things I can control: My diet is healthy, with whole grains etc. and avoids all meat, including chicken. And I have a dash of turmeric with my breakfast. So I think I’m doing all I reasonably can to minimise the risk of this cancer.
Link to my post on “Cancer”
Link to my post on “How Not to Die”
Link to my post on “Turmeric”