Risk factors of pancreatic cancer

The causes of pancreatic cancer are unknown, and most cases occur out of the blue. However, there are some things that make developing pancreatic cancer more likely. Anything that increases your chance of getting a disease is known as a risk factor.

Pancreatic Cancer Action
Patient Information Booklets

What is Pancreatic cancer and how is it diagnosed?

This booklet for patients and carers describes pancreatic cancer, its causes and symptoms. It gives detailed information on the diagnostic tests used and the stages of pancreatic cancer. It includes a section on what to ask your doctor, where to go for further information and a glossary to explain many of the terms used.

Having any one of the risk factors listed below does not mean that you are going to get pancreatic cancer.

Instead they are a guide as to what research has shown can increase the chances. If you are concerned about any of the risks or need more advice on how to reduce your personal risk, try talking to your GP.

Some risk factors cannot be changed. There is nothing that you can do to avoid them. These are known as non-modifiable risk factors and include things like age and genetics. Knowing about them is still useful, it means that you can be aware of your personal risk and look out for symptoms.

Other risk factors are avoidable or can be reduced through changes to your lifestyle or environment. These are known as modifiable risk factors. Examples of these are smoking and alcohol consumption.

What are the risk factors of pancreatic cancer?

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Information Product № PCA0144v1 Published 15/10/2019
Last Updated 21/04/2022 Next Review Due 15/10/2022