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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Onset Age Of Pancreatic Cancer Lower For Smokers and Drinkers

Interior view of the American Cancer Society C...
American Cancer Society Center, Atlanta, GA.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you have ever known anyone who received a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, then you know how terminal this disease is, in almost every case. Statistics indicate that only about one in 100 people diagnosed with this cancer are still living five years later. Typical onset of pancreatic cancer, according to the American Cancer Society, occurs on average at age 72. 

New study indicates age of onset for pancreatic cancer may be lowered with smoking and drinking

While researchers previously recognized that smoking increased the risk factor for pancreatic cancer; however, finding a link between pancreatic cancer and drinking alcohol has had mixed results. Now new research seems to indicate that smoking and drinking may contribute to an earlier onset of pancreatic cancer.

The research was completed at the University of Michigan Health System, located in Ann Arbor. The lead researcher was Michelle Anderson and the results were published on-line on August 28, 2012, on the website for The American Journal of Gastroenterology - Alcohol and Tobacco Lower the Age of Presentation in Sporadic Pancreatic Cancer in a Dose-Dependent Manner: A Multicenter Study.

Study details...

Methods and results:
  •  811 patient records were examined from a pancreatic cancer registry, taking into account family history of pancreatic cancer and body weight.
  • Current smokers were usually diagnosed around age 62, while non-smokers were diagnosed around age 70.
  • Heavy drinkers were usually diagnosed at age 61, nearly a decade earlier than non-drinkers.
  • If the patient had quit smoking and drinking at least 10 years prior to the diagnosis, then age of onset was similar to that of non-smokers / non-drinkers. 

Looking forward

There is a Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Their mission: The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network is a nationwide network of people dedicated to working together to advance research, support patients and create hope for those affected by pancreatic cancer. According to their own research "by the year 2020, and possibly as early as 2015, pancreatic cancer will move from the fourth leading cause of cancer death to the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States."

Try to stay informed. If you smoke, get help to quit. If you are abusing alcohol, see your doctor and seek treatment for your alcoholism


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