Risk Factors of Pancreatic Cancer: A Literature Review

TE-MIN KE, Artitaya Lophatananon, Kenneth Muir, Marzena Nieroda, George Manias, Dimosthenis Kyriazis, Usman Wajid, Tanja Tomson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To identify and compare current modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors for pancreatic cancer (PaCa) that may have potential application in PaCa risk stratification, prevention, and early detection.

Material: All articles in this literature review were identified through systematic searches of PubMed, Medline, and Embase databases. All articles were published in the English language, between January 2000 to December 2021 and with an abstract. In this review study, we judge the evidence level of different PaCa risk factors through the criteria of grading evidence for cancer prevention.

Results: The modifiable risk factors identified included cigarette smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, increased Body Mass Index (BMI) and abdominal obesity, chronic pancreatitis, diabetes, hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, periodontal disease, cholecystectomy and chemicals and asbestos exposure. The non-modifiable risk factors included age, gender, ethnicity, blood type, family history, inherited syndromes, germline mutation, and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). However, there are still some ambiguous risk factors for which the current evidence is inconclusive such as low physical activity, increased consumption of red/processed meat and dairy products, vitamin D insufficiency, and some medical-related conditions including gut microbiota such as Helicobacter Pylori infection, long-term usage of Proton-pump inhibitors (PPI), and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) history.

Conclusions: This literature review summarizes the modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors of PaCa with strong evidence, which could be used to further establish PaCa predictive model as an application of PaCa risk stratification, raise public awareness and educate the public as a prevention program. Further studies are needed to investigate other potential risk factors.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCancer Reports and Reviews
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


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