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A review of lifestyle and environment risk factors for pancreatic cancer.

Zanini, Sara; Renzi, Serena; Limongi, Antonina R.; Bellavite, Paolo; Giovinazzo, Francesco; Bermano, Giovanna


Sara Zanini

Serena Renzi

Antonina R. Limongi

Paolo Bellavite

Francesco Giovinazzo


Pancreatic cancer (PaCa) is one of the deadliest cancers known and its incidence is increasing in the developed countries. Because of the lack of biomarkers that allow early detection and the tendency of the disease to be asymptomatic, the diagnosis comes often too late for effective surgical or chemotherapy intervention. Lifestyle factors, that may cause common genetic modifications occurring in the disease, interfere with pancreatic physiology or function, and play a role in PaCa development, have been of concern recently, since a strategy to prevent this severe cancer is needed. This review identifies the latest evidences related to increased risk of developing PaCa due to dietary habits such as high alcohol, fructose and red or processed meat intake, and pathological conditions such as diabetes, obesity and infections in addition to stress and smoking behaviour. It aims to highlight the importance of intervening on modifiable risk factors: the action on these factors could prevent a considerable number of new cases of PaCa.


ZANINI, S., RENZI, S., LIMONGI, A.R., BELLAVITE, P., GIOVINAZZO, F. and BERMANO, G. 2021. A review of lifestyle and environment risk factors for pancreatic cancer. European journal of cancer [online], 145, pages 53-70. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 24, 2020
Online Publication Date Jan 7, 2021
Publication Date Mar 31, 2021
Deposit Date Jan 11, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jan 8, 2022
Journal European Journal of Cancer
Print ISSN 0959-8049
Electronic ISSN 1879-0852
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 145
Pages 53-70
Keywords Pancreatic cancer; Life style factors; Tobacco smoking; Alcohol intake; Red and processed meat; Environmental and synthetic toxins; Obesity; Type 2 diabetes; Metabolic syndrome; Infectious diseases; Psychological stress
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