Cigarette smoking is one of the leading preventable causes of pancreatic cancer. In most studies, smoking cigarettes doubles one’s risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Veronica Setiawan and colleagues from the University of Southern California just completed a study of cigarette smoking, and the good news is that they found that quitting smoking can reduce the risk of developing pancreatic cancer ! In an analysis of over 180,000 people reported in the journal Cancer Causes and Control (see Excess pancreatic cancer risk due to smoking and modifying effect of quitting smoking: The Multiethnic Cohort Study | Cancer Causes & Control (springer.com) and below), they found that people who smoked more than 50 pack-years (a pack year is calculated by multiplying the number of packs of cigarettes smoked per day times the number of years a person has smoked) had an almost doubled risk of pancreatic cancer. Importantly, they found that every year a person quit smoking corresponded to a 9% decreased excess risk of developing pancreatic cancer! This was especially true for people who quit before the age of 65.
The message is simple- Don’t smoke, and if you do, quit smoking! It may save your life!
Bogumil D, Stram D, Preston DL, Pandol SJ, Wu AH, McKean-Cowdin R, Conti DV, Setiawan VW. Excess pancreatic cancer risk due to smoking and modifying effect of quitting smoking: The Multiethnic Cohort Study. Cancer Causes Control. 2023 Nov 4. doi: 10.1007/s10552-023-01811-x. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37924460.