Presse Santé

Know how to recognize and prevent the symptoms of pancreatic cancer

It is predicted that pancreatic cancer could become the second leading cause of cancer death by 2030. This type of cancer is very difficult to defeat, preventive measures can help you reduce the risk of occurrence.

In France, the incidence of pancreatic cancer doubled in men and tripled in women between 1982 and 2012. It is the fourth leading cause of death from cancer in both men and women. Of all cancers, pancreatic cancer has the lowest 5-year survival rate (<5%), with the majority of patients dying within months of diagnosis.

In fact, this cancer is characterized by a silent course without obvious symptoms and metastasizes very quickly. The first alarm signals are:

  • jaundice,
  • weight loss
  • anorexia, fatigue
  • abdominal or back pain

it often happens that the cancer has already spread to the surrounding tissues (liver, lymph nodes) and cannot be surgically removed.

The Reasons for the Worrying Rise in Pancreatic Cancer

Another worrying aspect of pancreatic cancer is that several specialists predict that its impact is likely to worsen over the next few years and that this disease could become the second leading cause of cancer deaths by 2030. A recent article summarizes the main factors that explain this upward trend:

obesity and diabetes.

Historically, smoking was the most important lifestyle factor associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer (the risk is twice as high in smokers). With the sharp decline in the number of smokers, we should normally have expected the incidence of pancreatic cancer to fall sharply, similar to the steady decline in lung cancer observed over the past fifteen years. Unfortunately, those gains have been wiped out by skyrocketing rates of obesity and diabetes, which are also major risk factors for pancreatic cancer.

Obesity, overweight: 150% increased chance of developing pancreatic cancer

Excess fat is a pathological condition associated with chronic inflammation, overproduction of multiple growth factors, and serious metabolic disorders that combine to promote the development of multiple cancers. Regarding pancreatic cancer, studies indicate that people who are overweight in early adulthood (20-49 years) are 150% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer and develop it 2 to 6 years earlier than people of normal weight.

The prevention to be taken to limit the risks

Prevention remains the key to reducing the incidence of pancreatic cancer and reducing its high mortality rate.

Avoiding smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and reducing your consumption of red and processed meats in favor of plant-based protein sources are the most well-known ways to prevent pancreatic cancer from developing.


Rahib L et al. Projecting cancer incidence and deaths through 2030: the unexpected burden of thyroid, liver, and pancreatic cancer in the United States. cancer res. ; 74:2913-2921.

Wallis C. Why Pancreatic Cancer is on the Rise. Scientific American, 2018.

Read al. Body mass index, age at diagnosis and survival rate in patients with pancreatic cancer. JAMA; 301: 2553-2562.

Cubilla AL and PJ Fitzgerald. Morphologic lesions associated with primary invasive non-endocrine pancreatic cancer in humans. cancer res. ; 36:2690-8.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.

Like our content?

Receive our latest publications directly in your mailbox every day free of charge

#recognize #prevent #symptoms #pancreatic #cancer

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.