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Heavy Drinking Tied to Earlier Pancreatic Cancer

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

woman in hospital readingNew research reveals that people who smoke or drink heavily have an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer at an earlier age. Earlier studies have shown that smoking is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer, and some studies have found that heavy drinking is also a risk factor. The latest study from the University of Michigan Health System found pancreatic patients who smoked or drank heavily developed the cancer at a much younger age. On average, according to Reuters, the risk of developing cancer in your lifetime is about one in 71, and 72 years old is the average age at diagnosis. However, people who currently smoked or drank heavily were diagnosed a decade earlier than average. Current smokers were usually diagnosed at age 62 and heavy drinkers were typically diagnosed at age 61. If people had refrained from smoking or heavy drinking at least a decade before being diagnosed, the risk of early cancer seemed to disappear. Pancreatic cancer has an especially grim prognosis. Only five out of every 100 pancreatic cancer patients are still alive after five years.

Source: Reuters Smoking, drinking tied to earlier pancreatic cancer

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