There is no screening test for pancreatic cancer. The disease is difficult to detect, being diagnosed at an advanced stage when it already has an aggressive behavior.
Hence, it has a high mortality rate. As science searches for new advances in treatment, it is important to know more about the disease and the risk factors.
Pancreatic cancer is relatively rare before the age of 30, becomes more frequent after the age of 60, with a predominant incidence in men.
Its main risk factors are:
- sedentary lifestyle
- diets high in processed foods, sugar, fats
Patients with chronic pancreatitis (alcoholics and nonalcoholics) are up to 10 times more likely to develop a tumor in the organ than those without.
Patients who have received radiation therapy to the area where the pancreas is located are at higher risk. Another danger is prolonged exposure to pesticides and other chemicals.
The medical literature points out that, by 2030, pancreatic cancer could be the second leading cause of cancer death worldwide.