As pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the world, many people are asking the question, “How do you get pancreatic cancer?” Scientists have asked that question of themselves, because they still do not know exactly what will cause a particular person to develop it.
However, they do know that damage to DNA, or DNA mutations, can be handed down from our parents. These mutations can cause cells to grow out of control, forming a tumor. So, those of us that have a genetic predisposition to pancreatic cancer may be in trouble. Research has shown that hereditary factors are the cause of approximately ten percent of pancreatic cancers.
We can also damage our own DNA with our lifestyle or bad behaviors as we age. For instance, if we smoke cigarettes, which have carcinogens, the carcinogens may damage a cell in our pancreas that is associated with the cancer gene and cause tumors to form. So, smokers are at great risk for this type of cancer. As a matter of fact, smokers have twice the risk as non-smokers of getting it, and not smoking is one of the most important ways to prevent getting pancreatic cancer. Exposure to environmental chemicals, pesticides and poor diet may also cause gene mutations that can cause this cancer.
Studies on how do you get pancreatic cancer
Studies have shown that race plays a part in this cancer, as it is more common in African Americans than in whites.
People with diabetes are at great risk for pancreatic cancer. Studies have shown that there is a link between this type of cancer and diabetes. As a matter of fact, eighty percent of pancreatic cancers are found in people with abnormally high blood sugar levels. Therefore, the scientific community does believe that diabetes, especially adult onset diabetes, may be a cause of this cancer. However, while they are quite sure there is a link, they are not certain how the two are related.
If the pancreas is chronically inflamed, as in the case of gallstones or the heavy use of alcohol, it may cause cancer of the pancreas.
The most surprising answer to the question about how do you get pancreatic cancer, is that it can be caused by bad luck, such as when the cells make a mistake as they are dividing. Each time the cells divide they copy our DNA but if they make an error and damage a gene in one of the pancreas cells, it may become cancerous. Or, unfortunately, it can happen for no reason at all.
A lot of research into “How do you get pancreatic cancer” is ongoing in the scientific community. They are honing in on the DNA changes that cause cells in the pancreas to become cancerous. They are also closely studying the genetic changes that are not inherited, such as smoking, or chemicals, that are causing this cancer.
To summarize the answer to the question about how do you get pancreatic cancer, they are a family history of genetic syndromes or of the cancer, smoking, age, being African-American, chronic pancreas inflammation, and diabetes, which are all causative factors.
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