Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of death from cancer. Since 1993 the incidence of pancreatic cancer has remained stable in men while increasing slightly in women reflecting smoking trends in men and women. The typical patient with newly diagnosed cancer of the pancreas is 63 years old.
Factors that increase the risk of pancreatic cancer include smoking, diabetes and inflammation of the pancreas. The incidence of pancreatic cancer is higher among those who eat red meat and lower among those who eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. An inherited tendency to develop pancreatic cancer accounts for ten percent of cases. Some families with an inherited risk for developing pancreatic cancer have an increased risk for developing other types of cancer as well.