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J Clin Med. 2019 Sep 10;8(9). pii: E1427. doi: 10.3390/jcm8091427.

Environmental Risk Factors of Pancreatic Cancer.

Author information

1
National Institute of Cancer Research, National Health Research Institutes, Tainan 70456, Taiwan.
2
Department of Internal Medicine, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, Tainan 70403, Taiwan.
3
Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung 80756, Taiwan.
4
National Institute of Cancer Research, National Health Research Institutes, Tainan 70456, Taiwan. jeffreychang@nhri.org.tw.

Abstract

Despite the advancement in medical knowledge that has improved the survival rate of many cancers, the survival rate of pancreatic cancer has remained dismal with a five-year survival rate of only 9%. The poor survival of pancreatic cancer emphasizes the urgent need to identify the causes or the risk factors of pancreatic cancer in order to establish effective preventive strategies. This review summarizes the current evidence regarding the environmental (non-genetic, including lifestyle, and clinical factors) risk factors of pancreatic cancer. Based on the current evidence, the established risk factors of pancreatic cancer are cigarette smoking, chronic diabetes, and obesity. Other strong risk factors include low consumption of fruits and vegetables, excess consumption of alcohol, poor oral hygiene, and the lack of allergy history. In the future, more studies are needed to identify additional risk factors of pancreatic cancer, especially the modifiable risk factors that could be included in a public health campaign to educate the public in order to reduce the incidence of pancreatic cancer.

KEYWORDS:

environmental risk factors; pancreatic cancer; prevention

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