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Pancreatic cancer is one of the most difficult cancers to diagnose and treat, and has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers. About 43,000 cases of pancreatic cancer will be diagnosed this year, mostly in people over the age of 65. *Source: American Cancer Society

Pancreatic Cancer Prevention

WellStar supports scientific research that shows certain lifestyle choices can lower a person’s risk of some cancers. Most patients with pancreatic cancer had no risk factors for developing the illness, but it is still important to do all that you can to keep your risk factors low for this disease. Our research indicates that maintaining a healthy body weight through healthy eating and regular exercise is an important way to lower your risk for many types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer. We have also linked cigarette smoking to numerous cancers, including cancer of the pancreas. WellStar endeavors to help patients who want to stop smoking through a variety of smoking cessation efforts.

Help Reduce Your Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

  • If you smoke, please consider getting help to quit through one of WellStar’s tobacco cessation programs. WellStar physicians know that not smoking is one of the most important things a person can do to avoid cancer.
  • Avoid excess body fat by limiting caloric intake and/or balance caloric intake with ample moderate-to-vigorous exercise.
  • Limit alcoholic beverages to no more than one a day.

Tests and Screenings for Pancreatic Cancer

For the general population, there is no screening test for the disease. In most cases, it is diagnosed in an advanced stage. However, MRI or CT scans at regular intervals are recommended for patients who have a family history of pancreatic cancer.

If you have symptoms of pancreatic cancer, including abdominal pain and bloating that persists for more than two weeks, yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes, your WellStar physician will recommend various imaging tests to determine whether you have pancreatic cancer.