Our 24/7 cancer helpline provides information and answers for people dealing with cancer. We can connect you with trained cancer information specialists who will answer questions about a cancer diagnosis and provide guidance and a compassionate ear.
Our highly trained specialists are available 24/7 via phone and on weekdays can assist through video calls and online chat. We connect patients, caregivers, and family members with essential services and resources at every step of their cancer journey. Ask us how you can get involved and support the fight against cancer. Some of the topics we can assist with include:
For medical questions, we encourage you to review our information with your doctor.
There is no sure way to prevent pancreatic cancer. Some risk factors such as age, sex, race, and family history can’t be controlled. But there are things you can do that might lower your risk.
Smoking is the most important avoidable risk factor for pancreatic cancer. Quitting smoking helps lower risk. If you smoke and want help quitting, please talk to your health care provider or call us at 1-800-227-2345.
Processed and red meats and sugary drinks may also increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
The American Cancer Society recommends following a healthy eating pattern that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and that limits or avoids red and processed meats, sugary drinks, and highly processed foods. For more, see the American Cancer Society Guidelines for Diet and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention.
Heavy alcohol use has been tied to pancreatic cancer in some studies. Heavy alcohol use can also lead to conditions such as chronic pancreatitis, which is known to increase pancreatic cancer risk. It’s best not to drink alcohol. If you do drink, you should have no more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 drinks per day for men.
Avoiding workplace exposure to certain chemicals may reduce your risk for pancreatic cancer.
Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.
Beavers TB, Brown PH, Maresso KC, Hawk ET. Chapter 23: Cancer Prevention, Screening, and Early Detection. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Dorshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff’s Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa. Elsevier: 2014.
Fernandez-del Castillo C and Jimenez RE. Epidemiology and nonfamilial risk factors for exocrine pancreatic cancer. UpToDate website. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/epidemiology-and-nonfamilial-risk-factors-for-exocrine-pancreatic-cancer. Updated May 14, 2018. Accessed January 2, 2019.
Rock CL, Thomson C, Gansler T, et al. American Cancer Society guideline for diet and physical activity for cancer prevention. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 2020;70(4). doi:10.3322/caac.21591. Accessed at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.3322/caac.21591 on June 9, 2020.
Winter JM, Brody JR, Abrams RA, Posey JA, Yeo CJ. Chapter 55: Cancer of the Pancreas. In: DeVita VT, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA, eds. DeVita, Hellman, and Rosenberg’s Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2019.
Last Revised: June 9, 2020
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