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Eat Antioxidants to Lower Pancreatic Cancer Risk?

Are Vitamins E and C and Selenium the Key to Preventing Pancreatic Cancer?

What Causes Pancreatic Cancer? continued...

Researchers still don't fully understand the cause of pancreatic cancer. Smoking and diabetes are considered risk factors. Some evidence points to obesity as another potential risk. 

Simon Yeung, PharmD, reviewed the new findings for WebMD. He is a pharmacist at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. "The study is very preliminary and just shows an interesting association between foods and pancreatic cancer."

Other studies have shown that high amounts of vitamin E and selenium may increase risk of other cancers such as prostate cancer. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is important for overall good health. But Yeung says it is too early to make any recommendations about specific ways to lower your risk for pancreatic cancer.

Vincent Vinciguerra, MD, is a little bit more optimistic about the new findings and their implications for people at risk for pancreatic cancer. He is the chief of the Don Monti Division of Oncology/Hematology at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Monter Cancer Center in Lake Success, N.Y.

"This gives us hope that we may be able to implicate some nutritional factors in causing pancreatic cancer," he says. "If it's true, we may finally have something to offer people at high risk for this cancer."

Still, "it has been difficult to show that there are benefits of antioxidants for various types of cancer," he says. "Every type of cancer is different, so we are hopeful, especially because we don't have a lot of options for lowering risk of pancreatic cancer."

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