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Low Fat Plant Based Diet May Lower a Womans Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

Low fat plant based diet food and pancreatic cancer

The American Cancer Society’s estimates that this year alone, about 53,670 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the United States.


The average lifetime risk of pancreatic cancer for both men and women is about 1 in 65 (1.5%). Certain factors can make your risk higher, including a history of obesity or Type 2 diabetes. Some studies have found a compelling link to nutrition, including a higher risk for those who frequently eat red and processed meat and not enough fruits and vegetables.

A new study published recently in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute explored the diet-pancreatic cancer link more closely and found that a low-fat, plant-based diet may lower a woman’s risk of being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

In the study, part of a clinical trial that included more than 46,000 overweight and obese women between the ages of 50 and 79, some were assigned to eat less fat and more vegetables, fruits and grains. The others followed a normal/standard American diet.

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After 15 years of follow up, those in the intervention group were significantly less likely to have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Based on previous observational studies, we knew diet may play a role in the risk for pancreatic cancer in both men and women," said study first author Dr. Li Jiao, an associate professor of medicine-gastroenterology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston TX.

In addition to diet change, the American Cancer Society recommends the following for lowering risk of pancreatic cancer:

• Do not smoke – this is the most important avoidable risk factor for pancreatic cancer
• Achieve and stay at a healthy weight. Include both diet and exercise to help you reach your goal.
• Limit alcohol – heavy alcohol use has been tied to pancreatic cancer in some studies.
• Limit exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace – for more on this, visit www.cancer.org.

Baylor College of Medicine, news release, Nov. 6, 2017
American Cancer Society