Studies have found that the following risk factors are associated with pancreatic cancer.
- Age: Most cases of pancreatic cancer are found in individuals over the age of 60.
- Smoking has been associated with a two-three fold increased risk of pancreatic cancer. Cigarette smoke contains a large number of carcinogens and is one of the leading causes of many cancers, so it is not surprising that it factors into pancreatic cancer.
- Diabetes: A new diagnosis of diabetes or worsening diabetes in older patients is a potential sign of pancreatic cancer.
- Gender: More men than women are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
- Race: Studies in the United States have shown that pancreatic cancer is more common in the African-American population than it is in the Caucasian population.
- Family History: The risk of developing pancreatic cancer triples if a parent or sibling had the disease.
- Chronic Pancreatitis: Chronic (persisting over a long period of time) pancreatitis, particularly inherited chronic pancreatitis, increases the risk of later developing pancreatic cancer.