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Pancreatic Cancer Prevention Tips

Medically reviewed by Mae Charisse Antalan, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Hello Doctor Medical Panel · Updated Mar 13, 2023

Pancreatic Cancer Prevention Tips

The majority of pancreatic cancer cases are difficult to cure since they typically grow and spread silently before being identified. Age is the biggest risk factor for pancreatic cancer. While risk increases with age, most cases of pancreatic cancer occur in patients over the age of 45. In actuality, 70% of people are over 65 and 90% are older than 55. Check out more tips on pancreatic cancer prevention here. 

Pancreatic Cancer Prevention: Diet and Lifestyle

Unfortunately, anyone can get pancreatic cancer. Although many people who get the disease have no risk factors, there are a few known ones. Several studies suggest that being overweight and not exercising may increase the risk of getting pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer risk is nearly half as high in regular exercisers as it is in sedentary individuals.

1. Diet

Numerous studies have tried to identify which foods, if any, contribute to the risk of pancreatic cancer, yet, the results preclude drawing any firm conclusions. In some studies, but not all, a typical American diet high in fat and processed or smoked meats has been linked to pancreatic cancer. A healthy diet high in fresh fruits and vegetables appeared to be protective against pancreatic cancer in another study. In tests, it was frequently found that lab rats fed a high-protein, high-fat diet developed pancreatic cancer.

One important tip for pancreatic cancer prevention: The American Cancer Society advises adhering to a healthy eating pattern that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and limits or avoids red and processed meats, sugary drinks, and highly processed foods.

Vitamins C and E and selenium are good for your overall health. It’s possible that they also help prevent against pancreatic cancer.

The greatest diet for overall health is one that emphasizes fruits and vegetables, with lean meats consumed in moderation. The best lifestyle choice for overall health is to give up smoking, engage in regular exercise, and eat a balanced diet. But there is no proven way to prevent pancreatic cancer.

2. Don’t smoke

Fortunately, the opposite is also true. After quitting, the risk of developing pancreatic cancer decreases gradually. The risk actually decreases to the point of reaching the same level as a nonsmoker after 10 to 15 years. Cigarette smoking is one preventable risk factor for pancreatic cancer, increasing a person’s risk of the disease by nearly twofold compared to nonsmokers.

3. Avoid alcohol use

Another pancreatic cancer prevention tip: Cut down on your drinking. Heavy alcohol consumption has been linked to pancreatic cancer in some studies, and it can also result in conditions like chronic pancreatitis, which is known to increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. There is conflicting evidence linking the use of aspirin and NSAIDs, drinking alcohol and coffee, and other factors to an increased (or decreased) risk of pancreatic cancer. You should limit your intake to no more than one drink for women. For men, it’s every day.

4. Limit exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace

If you work with chemicals frequently, be sure to follow the safe use instructions provided by your employer or union safety director. You can also check with these organizations. Avoiding workplace exposure to certain chemicals may lower your risk of pancreatic cancer. On the other hand, exposure to certain chemicals may increase your risk.

Key Takeaways

Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and quitting smoking should all help to lower the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Take into consideration these pancreatic cancer prevention tips. 

Learn more about Pancreatic Cancer here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Mae Charisse Antalan, MD

General Practitioner

Written by Hello Doctor Medical Panel · Updated Mar 13, 2023

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