Pancreatic Cancer Causes and Risk Factors
The American Cancer Society’s estimates for pancreatic cancer in the United States for 2024 over 60,000 people will be diagnosed and over 50,000 people will die of pancreatic cancer. While those numbers may seem low, each person’s chances of getting this cancer can be affected by certain conditions including obesity. Dr. Bruce Waldholtz, a gastroenterologist from the American Cancer Society joined us with information about symptoms and prevention.
I asked Dr. Waldholtz about the causes of pancreatic cancer and he explains smoking, obesity and diabetes are risk factors that contribute to pancreatic cancer. Massive weight loss, jaundice and onset of diabetes are signs of the disease. As with most diseases this disproportionately impacts the African-American community.
He shares that the best prevention is decreasing risk factors. The warning signs for pancreatic cancer occur in the late stages of the disease. There are currently no screenings for pancreatic cancer. Those diagnosed with the disease have a 13% chance of surviving for 5 years. If you have a family history of the disease you should request an endoscopic ultrasound. The occurrence of pancreatitis may increase the occurrence of pancreatic cancer.
I asked Waldholtz about the rumors of a cancer cure. He speaks about the MCED - Multi-Cancer Early Detection blood test that are being developed.
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