5 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Developing Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer is among the most lethal forms of cancer, with a survival rate of just 10% five years after diagnosis. This is often thought to be because this type of cancer often goes undetected until it has progressed to later stages, making it difficult to treat. However, there are deliberate lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Here are five ways to avoid pancreatic cancer.
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity is a major risk factor for pancreatic cancer. Research has shown that individuals who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop this type of cancer than those who maintain a healthy weight. The reason for this is that excess body fat can lead to inflammation, which can damage cells and increase the risk of cancer.
Consuming a balanced diet and exercising regularly are important to maintain a healthy weight. This means making an effort to make fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins the majority of your diet while limiting your intake of processed and high-fat foods. Additionally, aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. This can include walking, running, cycling, or swimming.
2. Quit Smoking
Smoking is another major risk factor for pancreatic cancer. Studies have shown that smokers are up to three times more likely to catch this type of cancer than non-smokers. The chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage cells in the pancreas, increasing the risk of cancer.
If you are a smoker, quitting can be one of the most practical things you can do to reduce your chances of developing pancreatic cancer. While quitting is challenging, many resources are available to help you quit smoking, including nicotine replacement therapy, medications, and support groups.
3. Limit Alcohol Consumption
Excessive alcohol intake has been linked to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer. Research has shown that individuals who consume three or more drinks per day are more likely to develop this type of cancer than those who drink in moderation or abstain from alcohol altogether.
To reduce your risk of pancreatic cancer, it is important to limit your alcohol consumption. This means drinking in moderation, defined as up to one drink daily for women and up to two drinks per day for men. Additionally, it is critical to avoid binge drinking, defined as consuming four or more drinks in a single sitting for women and five or more drinks in a single session for men.
4. Get Screened
If you have family members with pancreatic cancer or other risk factors, you must talk to your doctor about getting screened for this type of cancer. Screening tests can help detect pancreatic cancer early when it is easier to treat.
Several screening tests may be used to detect pancreatic cancer, including imaging tests such as Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) and MRI scans and blood tests that measure levels of certain proteins in the blood. Your doctor can help determine the appropriate screening tests based on your risk factors.
5. Stay Informed
Finally, it is important to stay informed about pancreatic cancer and its risk factors. This can help you make educated decisions about your health and take steps to reduce your risk of developing this type of cancer.
Many resources are available to help you learn more about pancreatic cancer, including websites, support groups, and healthcare professionals. Additionally, it is important to talk to your doctor about any concerns about your risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
In conclusion, while there is no guaranteed way to prevent pancreatic cancer, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. By maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, getting screened if eligible, and staying informed, you can take control of your health and reduce your risk of developing this deadly form of cancer.
If you are looking for the best gastroenterologist in Frisco, TX, then look no further than Stuart Akerman MD. From screening and diagnosis to treatment and support, Dr. Akerman and his team are dedicated to providing the best care for their patients. Call today to book a consultation and start your journey towards a healthier tomorrow.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that this blog is intended for Informational Use only and is not intended to replace personal evaluation and treatment by a medical provider. The information provided on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Please consult your doctor for any information related to your personal care.