Epidemiology and risk factors for pancreatic cancer

Albert B. Lowenfels, Patrick Maisonneuve

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pancreas cancer is considered an 'orphan' cancer because of its relative low incidence. Unfortunately even with early diagnosis, mortality rates are high, explaining why, despite the low incidence, it ranks eighth in a world listing of cancer mortality. International incidence rates vary in different countries, implying that environmental factors are important. Of these factors, smoking is the most well documented etiologic agent, explaining about 25% of all cases. Dietary factors may be important, but it has been difficult to define specific items which either increase or decrease the risk of pancreatic cancer. Since the incidence of pancreas cancer is so strongly age-dependent, we can anticipate an increasing number of patients as the population of most Western countries ages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-209
Number of pages13
JournalBailliere's Best Practice and Research in Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006


  • Diabetes genetics
  • Epidemiology
  • Incidence
  • Mortality
  • Pancreas cancer
  • Pancreatitis
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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