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May 19, 2010 | 2 minute read

Reducing Your Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths because it is often diagnosed only in its advanced stages.  This week, two new studies on pancreatic cancer suggest there are lifestyle habits that can prevent this disease.

The first study, highlighted in today’s issue of Cancer Research Update, supports findings from AICR’s expert report linking higher body weight and waist circumference to increased risk. The study used pooled data from a major National Cancer Institute group of participants, which included about 4,400 individuals – half with the disease and half without. You can read more about the study in CRU.

The second study linked heavy alcohol use and binge drinking to increased risk of pancreatic cancer in men. Previous research has produced conflicting findings on the alcohol-pancreatic cancer link.

But this study – which you can read here – found that the more men drank, the higher their increased risk. This held true even if the men consumed the alcoholic drinks years or decades prior to diagnosis. The study included about 500 individuals with the cancer and 1,700 controls, and the participants reported their history of alcohol consumption. There was no connection between alcohol consumption and pancreatic cancer risk among women.

AICR’s expert report found that foods containing folate — such as beans, leafy greens, and peanuts — probably protect against pancreatic cancer. Want to add some folate to your day? Spinach will help. Try making AICR’s Turkey, Spinach and Apple Wrap.

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