Pancreatic cancer is a rapidly growing and serious disease, and many sufferers do not show signs or symptoms until the cancer advances. Because pancreatic cancer is life-threatening, recognizing early signs is important. Unfortunately, there is no proven ways to prevent pancreatic cancer. However, there are many ways to lower your risk of developing this deadly disease.
Get rid of the cigarettes. Smoking increases your risk of developing pancreatic cancer as well as other medical conditions such as heart disease, lung cancer and stroke. Talk to your doctor about over-the-counter or prescription nicotine replacement medications, or join a support group.
Lose excess weight and maintain healthy eating habits. Being obese or carrying excessive weight may increase your chances of developing pancreatic cancer. However, you can easily lower this risk by losing a few pounds. Aim for 1 to 2 lbs. a week. Exercise for 30 minutes at least three times a week, and eat a diet that consists of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Decrease your intake of red meats and fatty foods.
Take vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient with many health benefits. In addition to strengthening the bones, treating a variety of autoimmune disease and promoting healthy skin cells, vitamin D can decrease your chances of developing different types of cancers, such as colon cancer, breast cancer and pancreatic cancer. However, taking a high dosage of vitamin D is toxic. Talk to your doctor before beginning a vitamin regimen.
Know the risk factors. Pancreatic cancer risk factors, in addition to the ones mentioned above, also include having a family history of pancreatic cancer or pancreatitis and being African American. People with a higher risk should recognize the symptoms (upper abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin, loss of appetite, weight loss and depression) and seek medical attention before the cancer advances.