Skip to main content

ACS & ASCO are Stronger Together: Cancer.Net content is now available on


Can Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor Be Prevented?

There is no sure way to prevent pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs). Some risk factors such as family history can’t be controlled. But there are things you can do that might lower your risk.

Don’t smoke

Smoking is an avoidable risk factor for pancreatic NET. Quitting smoking may help lower risk. If you smoke and want help quitting, please talk to your health care provider or call us at 1-800-227-2345.

Limit alcohol use

Heavy alcohol use has been tied to pancreatic NETs in some studies but not in others. This link is still not certain, but heavy alcohol use can lead to conditions such as chronic pancreatitis, which has been associated with an increased risk of pancreatic NET.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as editors and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Ben Q, Zhong J, Fei J, et al. Risk Factors for Sporadic Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors: A Case-Control Study. Scientific Reports. 2016;6:36073. doi:10.1038/srep36073.

Haugvik SP, Hedenström P, Korsæth E, et al. Diabetes, smoking, alcohol use, and family history of cancer as risk factors for pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Neuroendocrinology. 2015;101(2):133-42. doi: 10.1159/000375164. Epub 2015 Jan 22.

Leoncini E, Carioli G, La Vecchia C, Boccia S, Rindi G. Risk factors for neuroendocrine neoplasms: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Oncol. 2016 Jan;27(1):68-81. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mdv505. Epub 2015 Oct 20.

Last Revised: October 30, 2018

American Cancer Society Emails

Sign up to stay up-to-date with news, valuable information, and ways to get involved with the American Cancer Society.