Know Ten Risk Factors to Prevent-Pancreatic-Cancer

Acting on knowledge of the pancreatic cancer risk factors may help us prevent-pancreatic-cancer.  Pancreatic cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. It is especially difficult to treat because of its rapid growth, proximity to other important organs, and inaccessible location. The result is a cancer that kills 95 percent of its victims within five years of diagnosis. Prognosis for survival is very poor and there is currently no good screen or tests to detect pancreatic cancer.

Another reason for the low survival rate of persons with pancreatic cancer is because the symptoms of pancreatic cancer mimic symptoms of other conditions and appear in the later stages of the disease. These symptoms include abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss, problems with sugar metabolism, and difficulty digesting fatty foods. Don’t wait for symptoms make lifestyle changes today to help prevent cancer.

We need to understand that anyone can get pancreatic cancer and many people who get pancreatic cancer have no risk factors. We all should take as many precautions as possible including making lifestyle improvements including nutrition and exercise. As with any cancer prevention is the key. Knowing and avoiding the following risk factors would be a good place to start.

Know risk factors to prevent-pancreatic-cancer

  1. Smoking  -  a third of pancreatic cancer is caused by smoking. The lesson is don’t smoke.
  2. Long term diabetes
  3. Obesity – especially fat around the middle or the so called belly fat.
  4. Chronic pancreatitis
  5. Excess alcohol usage
  6. A sedentary lifestyle – Get up and move your body.
  7. Poor nutrition. Eating vegetables and fruits high in beta-carotene and lycopene may help prevent-pancreatic-cancer and prostate cancer. Avoiding excess sugar can help prevent cancer.
  8. Environmental factors - Environmental factors, such as exposure to certain dyes, pesticides, and petroleum products, may increase the possibility of developing pancreatic cancer.
  9. Age and family history
  10. Gender – Males are 30 percent more likely to develop cancers of the pancreas than are females.

While there are no magic bullets, a healthy lifestyle can help prevent-pancreatic-cancer including a change in eating habits. We have known for a long time that people who eat the most fruits and vegetables and other plant foods are less likely to get cancer. Fruits and vegetables are a significant foundation for an anticancer diet.

A diet high in animal products, particularly animal fat, can increase cancer risk as does a diet high in sugar. Both can result in an acidic body-pH-balance creating a cancer promoting environment (sugar feeds cancer). Also a prolonged high intake of sugar and resulting high levels of insulin stresses the pancreas.

We can’t control some risk factors such as family history, age and gender but we can control our lifestyle, which may help prevent-pancreatic-cancer in spite of these risk factors.  Eating spinach, kale and other dark green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower may lower the risk of cancer as will sweet potatoes, carrots and onions. Also avoid dangerous food additives. Some food additives have been implicated in such chronic diseases as cancer, type II diabetes, heart disease, hypothyroidism, hypertension and obesity.

Eating natural foods is always best but dietary supplements including a multivitamin & mineral compound, Curcumin, Pomegranate extract, and grape seed extract may provide the body the help it needs to prevent-pancreatic-cancer. Be sure to consult with your physician before starting any nutritional supplementation program. Nutritional supplements do not cure or prevent illness and disease.  They only give the body the extra nutrition it needs to take care of itself!  A healthy lifestyle starts with good nutrition.

Although Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated. Deut. 34:7

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References and suggested reading: 

  • See the retirement resource page. 
  • Russell L. Blaylock, MD, Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients., Kensington Publishing Corp, Heath Press, 2003.
  • Patrick Quillin, PhD, RD, CNS. "Beating Cancer with Nutrition." Nutrition Times Press, 1994. 
  • "pancreatic cancer." Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite.  Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 2011.

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