Pancreatic cancer, although infrequent, has a very poor prognosis, making it currently the fourth common causes of cancer mortality in most developed countries including the European Union (EU). Its incidence varies across regions, which suggests that lifestyle factors play an important role in its etiology, although part of the variation could be ascribed to difference in diagnostic and coding practices. Because pancreatic cancer is strongly age-dependent, increasing population longevity and ageing will lead to an increase of the global burden of pancreatic cancer. It was estimated that, by 2040, the total number of cases in the EU will increase by more than 30%. Pancreatic cancer is a multifactorial disease and many risk factors have been identified. Hereditary factors are responsible for less than 10% of the cases while tobacco smoking and excess body weight, the two most important potentially modifiable risk factors, are responsible for 10 to 30% of the cases, affording a unique opportunity for preventing one of our deadliest cancers.
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