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5 Ways to Lower Your Risk for Late-Stage Pancreatic Cancer

Dec 18, 2023

5 Ways to Lower Your Risk for Late-Stage Pancreatic Cancer
Cancers have the best possible prognoses in their earliest stages. Whether you have pancreatic cancer or are at risk, follow our top tips for lowering your risk for late-stage pancreatic cancer.

As with any cancer, treatment is most successful when addressing pancreatic cancer in early stages vs late stages. Although pancreatic cancer rarely causes any symptoms in early stages, the experts at Arizona Center for Cancer Care strive to evaluate and identify cancer as early as possible and lower your risk of developing late-stage pancreatic cancer. 

Our offices are located in Avondale, Chandler, Gilbert, Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Surprise, Anthem, Peoria, Fountain Hills, Wickenburg, Apache Junction, Sun City, Sun City West, Goodyear, and Tempe, Arizona. We provide advanced imaging tests to stage your pancreatic cancer and determine the best possible course of treatment. 

Whether you have pancreatic cancer already or are at high risk, being aware of the risk factors helps you avoid late-stage pancreatic cancer, which is more challenging to treat. Here are our top five tips for lowering your risk:

1. Stop smoking

Even the most habitual smokers acknowledge that there are health risks that come with the habit. Did you know pancreatic cancer is one of them? 

Smoking is the number-one and most avoidable risk factor for pancreatic cancer. If you’ve been thinking of quitting or cutting back, now is a great time to do so. Not only will you lower your risk for late-stage pancreatic cancer, but you’ll also reduce your risk for lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). 

If you struggle to quit on your own, you can talk to your primary care provider for helpful smoking cessation advice and guidance. 

2. Manage your weight

Maintaining a healthy weight is an excellent way to lower your risk for late-stage pancreatic cancer thanks to the habits that can help you do so. These include regular physical activity and a balanced diet. A well-balanced diet includes plenty of the following:

  • Whole grains
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Lean proteins (e.g. chicken, fish, or plant proteins)

While planning your meals and snacks, be sure to avoid or limit potentially carcinogenic foods like red meat, processed meat, and sugary beverages. 

3. Drink less alcohol

Do you turn to libations at the end of a stressful workday? Perhaps you enjoy celebrating special occasions with one or several glasses of your favorite beverage. Heavy alcohol use is linked to multiple types of cancer, including pancreatic cancer, as well as other pancreatic conditions like chronic pancreatitis. 

The good news? You don’t have to give up alcohol entirely unless your physician advises you to. Experts recommend cutting down to one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men to mitigate associated pancreatic cancer risks. 

4. Limit exposure to workplace chemicals

Many industrial chemicals are hazardous to your health. While we understand some people must work closely with them, it’s important to be mindful of their health risks and limit your exposure to the best of your ability. Take all proper safety precautions at work to minimize exposure to carcinogenic chemicals like pesticides, benzene, and petrochemicals. 

5. Manage your diabetes

Managing diabetes goes hand-in-hand with weight management: Adopting a healthy diet and committing to consistent exercise goes a long way for lowering your blood sugar. You might need to take insulin or other medications to manage your diabetes too. 

Following your provider’s recommendations for diabetes can lower your risk for severe pancreatic cancer, as having diabetes is a risk factor for the condition. Your pancreas produces insulin, the hormone responsible for controlling your blood sugar, so diabetes is closely related: It’s both a risk factor and a symptom of pancreatic cancer. 

Call us today

Pancreatic cancer rarely causes symptoms in early stages, so being mindful of risk factors is critical. If you have pancreatic cancer or are at risk, call Arizona Center for Cancer Care nearest you or schedule an appointment online at your earliest convenience.