The pancreas is an organ lies behind the stomach and in front of the spine.
It has two kinds of cells. One type is exocrine pancreas cells, which make enzymes that are released into the small intestine to help the body digest food.
The other type is neuroendocrine pancreas cells, which make several hormones such as insulin that help control blood sugar levels.
Previous research has found that most pancreatic cancers form in exocrine pancreas cells.
Patients don’t experience any signs or symptoms. That is why pancreatic cancer is hard to be detected early.
For most patients with exocrine pancreatic cancer, current treatments cannot cure the disease.
For people with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors, sometimes there is a better prognosis than pancreatic exocrine cancers.
To save a life, the best options for patients include surgical resection, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy.
Researchers suggest that some risk factors can be changed to prevent pancreatic cancer.
The first risk factor is smoking.
Cigarette smoking accounts for 25–29% of pancreatic cancer occurrence.
Nicotine can stimulate pancreatic tumor growth, making cancer more metastatic and less responsive to therapy, and reducing the survival rate of cancer patients.
Five years after stopping cigarette smoking, the risk for pancreatic cancer can be reduced to the same as that in the general population.
The second risk factor is unhealthy diets.
Having a healthy diet is an important way to prevent pancreatic cancer.
A healthy diet reduces amounts of red meat, processed food, saturated fatty acids, high cholesterol food, fructose, heavy alcohol drinking.
You also need to drink less than four cups of coffee a day and reduce low-fiber food, salts, and food preservatives as well as additives.
You should try to eat whole grains, vegetables, and fish frequently.
Previous research has shown that tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, and blueberries may have a protective effect on cancers.
The third risk factor is a sedentary lifestyle.
Regular physical activity can help you maintain healthy body weight and prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes. Both conditions will increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Physical activity can also help slow aging processes and thus reduce pancreatic risk.
It is important to know that a healthy diet and regular physical activity account for 2/3 of our lifespan.
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