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What causes pancreatic cancer?

Like many cancers, the exact cause of pancreatic cancer is unknown. Cancer cells are the result of mutations in the cells. These mutations make the cells grow and reproduce too quickly, causing them to build up in the tissues. When cancer cells form in your pancreas, a tumor may grow. This tumor can damage the pancreas, and the cancer can spread to other parts of the body. The stage of pancreatic cancer is based on the size of the tumor and where the cancer has spread.

Pancreatic cancer is cancer that develops within the pancreas, the gland about six inches long that is responsible for making hormones, including the enzymes responsible for the digestion of food and control of blood sugar. The risk factors for pancreatic cancer include smoking, having diabetes, being obese, being over the age of 65, having chronic inflammation of the pancreas or a family history of pancreatic cancer.

Continue Learning about Pancreatic Cancer Causes & Risk Factors

What increases my risk for pancreatic cancer?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
As you age, your risk for pancreatic cancer increases. Most cases occur in people older than 50....
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How does diabetes increase my risk for pancreatic cancer?
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MDDr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not adequately produce or use insulin, a hormone normal...
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How does age affect the risk of pancreatic cancer?
John A. ChabotJohn A. Chabot
The risk of developing pancreatic cancer increases after age 50. Most patients are between the ages ...
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What causes stage 1 pancreatic cancer?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Like many cancers, the exact causes of pancreatic cancer are unknown. Cancer cells are the result of...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.