Pancreatic Cancer

What Causes Pancreatic Cancer?

In order to deal properly with pancreatic cancer we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors.  We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow pancreatic cancer to develop?"

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Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind pancreatic cancer consists of three steps:

Step 1: List the Possible Causative Factors

Identify all disease conditions, lifestyle choices and environmental risk factors that can lead to pancreatic cancer.  Here are two possibilities:
  • Diabetes II
  • Cigarette Smoke Damage

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

Identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
difficulty losing weight
high systolic blood pressure
long-term sleep surplus
recent heavy tobacco smoking
African ethnicity
high air pollution exposure
numb/burning/tingling extremities
low HDL cholesterol level
diabetes in family members
Latin / Hispanic ethnicity
occasionally feeling unusually cold
severe vision disturbances
... and more than 30 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of pancreatic cancer:
Cause Probability Status
Cigarette Smoke Damage 99% Confirm
Diabetes II 74% Possible
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate cancer, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Have you suffered from Pancreatic Cancer?
Possible responses:
→ No / don't know
→ Yes but now resolved for over 5 years
→ Yes but now resolved for under 5 years
→ Current problem but containable
→ Current problem and aggressive/spreading
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either history of pancreatic cancer or pancreatic cancer, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Cigarette Smoke Damage

Cigarette smoke contains a large number of carcinogens and therefore it should come as no surprise that cigarette smoking is one of the biggest risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer.  For example, smoking during college has been associated with a 2 to 3-fold increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

Approximately 30% of all deaths from pancreatic cancer are attributable to cigarette smoking.  Historically, males have had a much higher incidence of cancer of the pancreas.  However, this difference is steadily decreasing as women smoke earlier and more heavily.  There is approximately a 2-fold increase in the risk of developing pancreatic cancer with smoking and this risk is dose-dependent.

Diabetes Type II

There have been a number of reports that have suggested diabetics have an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer.  The reasons for this are not clear.

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