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Study Highlights Factors That May Contribute To Pancreatic Cancer

Update Date: Oct 14, 2014 09:13 AM EDT

The study, that provides a better understanding of pancreatic cancer may help identify individuals at increased risk. 

Pancreatic cancer is a stealthy cancer that is usually detected at a very late stages. It has a 5-year survival rate of less than 5 percent. Evidently, the strategies that might help identify the risks of the disease are sorely needed. 

The study found that nearly 9 percent of patients who were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer had at least one parent or sibling who was also diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. 

Researchers also noted that active smoking was associated with a significantly younger at diagnosis in all patients. 

"These findings are important because they suggest that the genes we inherit from our parents likely play a significant role in our lifetime risk of developing pancreatic cancer," said lead researcher Andrew Biankin, MBBS, PhD, of the University of Glasgow, in Scotland, in the press release. 

"Secondly, they emphasize that when assessing someone's individual risk of developing pancreatic cancer, it may be important to assess not just family history of pancreatic cancer but other malignancies too. Finally, our data emphasize the importance of smoking abstinence."

The study is published early online in the journal Cancer

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