Oncologists use pancreatic cancer risk factors to determine how likely a person is to develop this particular condition. Risk factors are identified by studying people who have pancreatic tumors and observing which traits they have (and do not have) in common. However, while it’s possible to correlate specific traits with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, it’s not possible to determine with 100 percent certainty whether that trait will or will not cause a person to develop the condition.
At Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida, we welcome residents of nearby St. Petersburg to consult with our experienced oncologists regarding risk factors and preventive care options. We provide patients with individualized screening recommendations and guidelines to help them be proactive in monitoring their own health. These recommendations are different for every patient and take into consideration whether the patient has any of the known pancreatic cancer risk factors. These include:
- Having a personal or family history of pancreatic cancer or pancreatic inflammation (pancreatitis)
- Having diabetes, Lynch syndrome or familial atypical mole-malignant melanoma (FAMMM)
- Smoking or using chewing tobacco
- Maintaining a diet high in red or processed meat
- Carrying excess weight
- Having a genetic mutation on the BRCA2 gene
Should pancreatic cancer develop, early detection is crucial for improving both the patient’s outcome and quality of life. Individuals who are known to have one or more risk factors are advised to be especially watchful for unusual symptoms, such as unexplained weight loss or abdominal pain. Even though these symptoms are often caused by noncancerous conditions, individuals who have a higher risk of developing pancreatic malignancies are particularly encouraged to discuss their symptoms with an experienced oncologist to rule out any diagnoses of serious illness.
At Moffitt, we offer comprehensive diagnostic and genetic testing services to men and women from St. Petersburg and other nearby areas. Using today’s latest preventive care guidelines and risk factor research, we are able to help our patients take charge of their health.
To learn more about pancreatic cancer risk factors and what they may mean for you, call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online. Referrals are never required. We welcome patients from St. Petersburg, FL, and elsewhere throughout the area.