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Why is the impact of Pancreatic Cancer important to Albertans?

Pancreatic cancer is the 12th most common cancer in Alberta.1 About 380 adults were diagnosed in 2012.2

  • Pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed when it’s at a late stage. So while it’s the 12th most common type of cancer diagnosed in Alberta, it’s the 4th most common cause of cancer death.
  • The risk of getting pancreatic cancer starts to rise between ages of 40-49, levels off quickly, and doesn’t fall until about ages 80-89.

What can I do?

Experts in Alberta agree that we can prevent about 25 out of 100 cases of pancreatic cancer.2 Here’s how:

Tobacco smoking is linked to about 20% of new cancer cases.

Tobacco has cancer-causing toxins (called carcinogens) that damage cells in the pancreas. Over time, the damaged cells can turn into cancer. You can lower your risk for pancreatic cancer when you quit using tobacco or cut down.

Being overweight is linked to about 7% of new cases. The World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) recommend adults stay at a healthy body weight3 and keep their body mass index (BMI) in the normal range. Use our BMI Tool to find the healthy weight range for you.

BMI Calculator

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More information on pancreatic cancer symptoms, diagnosis and treatment at MyHealth Alberta.

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