Risk Factors and Symptoms


Dr. Mansfield
While the cause of pancreatic cancer is unknown, there are a number of risk factors associated with this condition. Dr. Jerman, can you tell us about these risk factors, as well as some of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

Dr. Jerman
Certainly, Dr. Mansfield. The risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer include:

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol consumption
  • A diet rich in animal fat
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Hereditary pancreatitis
  • Family history of pancreatitis, and
  • Certain inherited and genetic conditions, which may be tested for if a person has a significant family history of pancreatic cancer

Early pancreatic cancer usually does not cause any signs or symptoms. As the tumor grows, however, some symptoms can include:

  • Jaundice, or yellowing of the eyes and skin
  • Abdominal pain that may radiate to the back and may increase with eating or lying down
  • Nausea
  • Decreased appetite, and
  • Weight loss