Pancreatic cancer is called a silent killer because it often grows or spreads undetected. Few cancers are diagnosed at an early stage and about 80 percent of pancreatic cancers are caught at a late stage.
Some factors may increase your risk for developing pancreas cancer. These include:
- Alcohol consumption
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Aromatic amines exposure (chemical industry)
- Cocaine abuse
- Family history of the disease
- Genetic risk, such as:
- Mutations in the BRCA2, PALB2 or ATM genes
- Lynch syndrome (also known as HNPCC)
- FAP (Familial Adenomatous Polyposis)
- Peutz-Jeghers syndrome
- FAMMM (Familial Atypical Multiple Mole Melanoma syndrome)
- Hereditary pancreatitis
Researchers continue to study other factors’ impact on the disease, such as high-fat diets and genetic susceptibility.