Make These Changes To Avoid Deadly Pancreatic Risk Cancer

Harold Mandel's picture
A young woman lighting up a deadly cigarette

Pancreatic cancer treatment is possible if you catch it very early, but it's unlikely to catch it very early because early symptoms are silent. However, if you make the following changes in your lifestyle you can avoid it.

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A new study has come up with the unusual finding that pancreatic cancer death rates in whites and blacks have moved in opposite directions over the past several decades across the United States. These trends of increased rates for whites and decreased rates for blacks are largely unexplainable according to research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

This study found that whites and blacks have experienced opposite trends in pancreatic cancer
death rates between the years of 1970 and 2009. These opposite trends are not explainable by presently known risk factors for this devastating form of cancer. These findings highlight the need for immediate action to determine manners to curb the trend of increasing death rates of pancreatic cancer in whites, while searching for a more in depth understanding of the etiology of this illness.

Cancer of the pancreas is a very serious form of cancer which often leads to death, according to the American Cancer Society. This type of cancer ranks among the leading causes of death due to cancer the United States. It is estimated pancreatic cancer will be responsible for about 38,460 deaths in the United States this year. Although mortality from other types of cancer has been decreasing over the years, there has been an upsetting increase in deaths from pancreatic cancer.

There have been associations found with certain lifestyle factors and the development of pancreatic cancer, including:

1: Smoking cigarettes

2: Obesity

3: Eating red and processed meat

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An understanding of the increased risk for pancreatic cancer with consumption of red meat implies it is time to consider cutting down on red and processed meat, as reported upon by EmaxHealth reporter Kathleen Blanchard, RN, while also cutting down on smoking and working on better weight control.

Suspected risk factors for getting pancreatic cancer include:

1: Not eating a lot of vegetables and fruit

2: Physical inactivity

3: Alcohol consumption

This research found that although there appears to be an overall increase in death rates from pancreatic cancer for whites and a decrease for blacks, the overall death rates have been consistently substantially higher in blacks than in whites. The researchers could not define changes in smoking prevalence as being able to explain this paradoxical difference in patterns. It is therefore felt that more in depth studies are needed to determine the exact mechanisms by which smoking causes pancreatic cancer and what other factors are involved.

Obesity has been found to be associated with a 20 percent increased death risk from pancreatic cancer. Yet, even though obesity is more prevalent in blacks than whites, pancreatic cancer trends have been going down in blacks. Nevertheless, it remains advisable to address modifiable risk factors for pancreatic cancer, such as obesity and smoking. Other modifiable risk factors for this illness may be exposure to lead, arsenic and cadmium, according to a report by EmaxHealth reporter Deborah Mitchell.

I have personally witnessed how horrible pancreatic cancer can be. My text book and clinical understandings of this devastating disease as a physician took a dramatic turn in an even more painful direction when one of my closest friends in the world in Hawaii came down with pancreatic cancer when he was still a relatively young man. My friend was Chinese. One day we were discussing the beautiful Hawaiian weather and enjoying tasty Chinese food together. Than suddenly my friend began to manifest symptoms of pancreatic cancer as he turned pale and lost weight while complaining of terrible pain in his abdomen and back.

My friend went downhill and died so rapidly I never really recovered from the emotional shock of his lose. He flew all the way to Baltimore or specialized treatment at John Hopkin's Medical Center, but to no avail. Being trained as a physician did not shield me from the horrible emotional impact of seeing my friend's life so tragically stolen by pancreatic cancer. It is therefore my professional opinion that the researchers are right in advising the need to try to lower your modifiable risk factors for pancreatic cancer, while leading a healthy lifestyle with good nutrition, as research into the causes of pancreatic cancer continues.

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