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What are the risk factors?

Research has shown that people with certain risk factors are more likely to develop pancreatic cancer. Known risk factors include:

  • smoking (cigarette smokers are about twice as likely to develop pancreatic cancer as non-smokers)
  • obesity
  • ageing
  • type 2 diabetes
  • pancreatitis (long-term inflammation of the pancreas)
  • certain types of cysts in the pancreatic duct known as intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs) – these should be assessed by an appropriate specialist
  • drinking too much alcohol
  • family history and inherited conditions
  • workplace exposure to some pesticides, dyes or chemicals.