Pancreatic Cancer Overview

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Causes, Risk Factors, and Prevention TOPICS

Can pancreatic cancer be prevented?

There is no sure way to prevent cancer of the pancreas at this time. For now, the best advice is to avoid smoking, the major risk factor that you can change. Tobacco use also increases the risk of many other cancers such as cancers of the lung, mouth, larynx (voice box), esophagus, kidney, bladder, and some other organs. If you smoke and want help quitting, please talk to your doctor or call the American Cancer Society.

Staying at a healthy weight, eating well, and exercising are also important. The American Cancer Society recommends choosing foods and beverages in amounts that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Eat a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant foods. This includes eating at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits every day. Choosing whole-grain breads, pastas, and cereals instead of refined grains, and eating fish, poultry, or beans instead of processed meat and red meat may also help lower your risk of cancer, as well as some other diseases.

The full guidelines can be found in the American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention. Read it on our Web site or call us for a free copy.


Last Medical Review: 02/15/2013
Last Revised: 02/03/2014