Age as risk factor

Why is your age relevant to pancreatic cancer?

The likelihood of having pancreatic cancer increases with age, this is the biggest risk factor. The average age of diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is 72.

To see the amount of people who were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in each age group. Click here.

Why is age a risk factor?

Age is associated with a decline in immune function, which may lead to a susceptibility to cancer.

The way our cells grow, and divide is controlled by our genes (DNA). With age, our DNA can become damaged, which can lead to cancer development. This can be due to a greater exposure to environmental risks (such as smoking, etc) but can also be due to biological reasons. Recent research has found that cells (Cytotoxic T lymphocytes also called T cells) that are helpful in preventing cancer forming, also decline with age.

What can I do?

Unfortunately, you cannot stop getting older, but you can have control of the environmental risks you expose yourself to. For example: not smoking; keeping a healthy diet and weight; and drinking less alcohol.

See other risk factors

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