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What causes pancreatic cancer?

ANSWER

Pancreatic cancer occurs when cells in the pancreas grow, divide, and spread uncontrollably, forming a malignant tumor. The exact cause isn't known.

Cigarette smoking is the major risk factor for pancreatic cancer: Smoking roughly doubles the risk compared to non-smokers. While diabetes isn't a risk factor for pancreatic cancer, the two have been linked. Age, race, and family history also play a role.

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society web site: "Detailed Guide: Pancreatic Cancer."

National Cancer Institute web site: "Pancreatic Cancer."

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on December 10, 2019

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society web site: "Detailed Guide: Pancreatic Cancer."

National Cancer Institute web site: "Pancreatic Cancer."

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on December 10, 2019

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How is pancreatic cancer prevented?

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