Smoking to your genes: Risk factors of pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer is the development of cancerous cells in pancreatic tissue. The pancreas is a gland that is present in the abdomen and behind your stomach.
The pancreas has two types of functions. It releases digestive enzymes that help the digestion of food and it also synthesizes and releases hormones that regulate your blood sugar level.
Different types of cancerous growth can occur in your pancreases. The growth may be cancerous or noncancerous.
The most common type of cancerous tumor growth in the pancreas is in the pancreatic duct, which carries digestive enzymes from the pancreas to the small intestine. This type of pancreatic cancer is known as pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
Pancreatic cancer causes and risk factors:
While the main cause of pancreatic cancer is unknown, many risk factors may increase the possibility of occurrence of this cancer. Following are the risk factors and causes that may increase your risk of developing pancreatic cancer:
- Smoking cigarettes — According to a clinical report, 30 percent of cases of cancer are due to cigarette smoking.
- Obesity and overweight
- Low physical activity and lack of daily exercise
- Taking meals high in saturated fats and lipids
- Drinking heavy alcohol daily.
- Type 2 diabetes
- Handling and working with pesticides and different chemicals
- Chronic inflammation of the pancreas
- Suffering from liver damage in past
- Having African-American ethnicity
- have a previous family history of pancreatic cancer or many genetic disorders that are linked to pancreatic cancer.
- You can inherit genes that may increase your risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
How does pancreatic cancer develop?
Pancreatic cancer occurs due to mutations in the DNA of your pancreatic cells. DNA is a genetic material that contains information about the fate of a body cell. If there is any change in the DNA sequence of mutation DNA. Cells use information in DNA to divide and reproduce. If there’s any mutation or change sequence of DNA the cells fail to divide and reproduce normally and they divide without any limit resulting in the formation of a mass of cells called tumor. Tumors can grow after the death of normal cells. If pancreatic cancer is not treated the cancerous cells will continue to divide and cancer tumors can grow to nearby organs and can affect them.
A less common type of pancreatic cancer is the development of cancerous growth in hormone-producing cells of the pancreas. This type of pancreatic cancer is known as pancreatic endocrine cancer or islets tumor cells.
Make an appointment with your genetic counselor if you have any previous family history of pancreatic cancer in the past. Choose a healthy diet to eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. Avoid processed foods high in saturated fat. Managing your weight as obesity and overweight is a major risk factor of many different types of cancers. Avoid smoking, learn new ways or strategies to quit smoking and limit your alcohol intake.