Four in ten pancreatic cancers ‘could be prevented’

2 July 2014

Four in ten cases of pancreatic cancers could be avoided in the UK by maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking, according to Cancer Research UK.

Each year, 8,800 are diagnosed with the disease - one of the deadliest forms of cancer - and survival rates are traditionally low.

The charity believes that while more research is certainly needed, there is evidence to suggest that some cases of pancreatic cancer are linked to being overweight and smoking. This means that up to 40 per cent of diagnoses could be prevented by making lifestyle changes.

Sara Hiom, Cancer Research UK’s director of early diagnosis, said: “Cancer is a complex set of diseases. For some, lifestyle can play an important role, and is one aspect of the disease that we have some control over.

“Pancreatic cancer is a disease with poor outcomes and is less well understood, so it’s important that we talk about the things people can do to stack the odds in their favour and reduce their risk.”

Professor Jeff Evans, a clinician and researcher at Cancer Research UK’s Beatson Institute in Glasgow, added that survival for this type of cancer remains startlingly low -  a fact that needs to change.

He believes there is an urgent need to tackle pancreatic cancer head on with new treatments and by making people aware of the steps they can take to reduce the risk of developing the disease.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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