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What are the risk factors for getting pancreatic lesions?

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Quick Answer

People with a hereditary risk of developing pancreatic cancer have the highest risk of developing pancreatic lesions before they experience symptoms of pancreatic cancer, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. As a person ages, his risk of developing pancreatic lesions increases. Pancreatic cancer is usually fatal once pancreatic lesions become malignant.

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What are the risk factors for getting pancreatic lesions?
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Full Answer

Other risk factors for pancreatic lesions and pancreatic cancer include chronic pancreatitis, liver cirrhosis, Helicobacter pylori stomach infection and diabetes, according to the American Cancer Society. People who eat diets high in red meat, pork and processed meats may be at higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer than people that eat more fruits and vegetables. Physical inactivity, obesity, tobacco use, alcohol use and drinking coffee may also increase the risk of developing pancreatic cancer, but the links between these lifestyle choices and pancreatic cancer are still being studied as of 2015.

Inherited gene mutations may cause up to 10 percent of pancreatic cancer cases. Some of these mutations include hereditary breast or ovarian cancer syndrome, hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome and Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, according to the American Cancer Society. People with neurofibromatosis type 1 may develop more tumors than a person without the condition, and people with multiple endocrine neoplasia type I are at increased risk of developing tumors on the pancreas's islet cells. Genetic testing can detect early changes in the genes that cause these conditions.

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