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. But there are some ways you might be able to lower your risk.

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. If you smoke and want help quitting, please talk to your doctor or call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.

Getting to and staying at a healthy weight might also help lower your risk. The effects of being active and eating well are not as clear, but both of these can help you stay at a healthy weight. 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 at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits every day. Choose whole-grain breads, pastas, and cereals instead of refined grains, and eating fish, poultry, or beans instead of processed meat and red meat.

The full guidelines can be found in the American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention.

Last Medical Review: 08/01/2014
Last Revised: 02/01/2016