Pancreatic Cancer Prevention

You Can Manage Some Risk Factors

We don’t know the exact cause of pancreatic cancer. We do know that people with certain risk factors may be more likely to get it.

Risk Factors for Pancreatic Cancer

  • Being overweight
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Having inflammation of the pancreas  — also called pancreatitis
  • Smoking tobacco

Preventing Pancreatic Cancer

You may reduce your risk of pancreatic cancer by controlling some of the risk factors described here. Pancreatic cancer usually occurs for reasons we don’t clearly understand, however.

Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

This cancer has no clear early symptoms. The following symptoms of pancreatic cancer also may be caused by something other than cancer.

  • Dark urine, pale stools, and yellow skin and eyes from jaundice (without pain)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain in the middle part of your back that doesn’t go away when you shift your position
  • Pain in the upper part of your belly unrelated to eating or drinking
  • Stools that float in the toilet

Advanced cancer also can cause:

  • Loss of appetite or feelings of fullness
  • Weakness or feeling very tired
  • Weight loss for no known reason

If you have these symptoms, call your doctor or make an appointment with The University of Kansas Cancer Center.