Which patient groups are at highest risk for pancreatic cancer?

Updated: Mar 07, 2019
  • Author: Tomislav Dragovich, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: N Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS  more...
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Answer

Black males in the United States have the highest incidence rate of pancreatic cancer. [39] (See Epidemiology, below.) The reasons for the higher incidence of pancreatic cancer in African Americans are unclear. Certainly, differences in risk factors for pancreatic cancer, such as dietary habits, obesity, and the frequency of cigarette smoking, are recognized among different population groups and may contribute to the higher incidence of this disease among blacks.

However, Arnold et al found that excess pancreatic cancer in blacks cannot be attributed to currently known risk factors, suggesting that as-yet undetermined factors play a role in the disease process. [40] One possibility is a difference in the underlying frequency of predisposing genetic mutations for pancreatic cancer.


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