What Are the Causes and Risk Factors for Pancreatic Cancer?

illustration of doctor and patient

Although the exact causes of pancreatic cancer are not yet well understood, research indicates there are several risk factors that contribute to the chances a person will get the disease.

Uncontrollable Risk Factors:

  • Advanced age
  • Gender
  • Race/ethnicity
  • Family history of pancreatic cancer
  • Inherited or acquired gene mutations

Medical Conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Stomach conditions

Environmental & Lifestyle Risk Factors:

  • Cigarette/tobacco use
  • Exposure to certain chemicals
  • High-fat diet
  • Diet high in meat and low in vegetables and folates


Learn what symptoms may be warning signs for pancreatic cancer.