The chances of developing cancer of the pancreas may be lowered by not smoking, avoiding chemicals, eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise, according to the American Cancer Society. As of 2015, there is no sure way of preventing pancreatic cancer.
Researchers may not know what causes pancreatic cancer, but they do know risk factors, explains the American Cancer Society. For example, smoking contributes to 20 to 30 percent of pancreatic cancers, so stopping smoking can help cut the risk of getting this disease. Some evidence indicates that pesticides and other chemicals, especially in the workplace, may increase the risk of getting pancreatic cancer, so it is wise to limit exposure.
Staying at a healthy weight may also cut down the risk of pancreatic cancer, notes the American Cancer Society. It recommends eating a primarily plant-based diet with less processed and red meat, instead choosing fish, poultry and beans for protein. Individuals should eat 2 1/2 cups of fruits and vegetables a day, as well as whole-grain bead, cereal and pasta.
Researchers believe that some of these risk factors can affect the DNA of the pancreas, causing it to create cancer cells rather than healthy ones, according to the American Cancer Society. DNA changes can be acquired through heredity as well.