- Hard liquor and alcohol. Alcohol causes free radical damage which increases the risk for pancreatitis which often precedes cancer of the pancreas.
- Cigarettes. Smoking cigarettes destroys healthy cells and promotes the growth of cancerous ones. A 2004 study proved that tobacco was an environmental trigger for pancreatic cancer in predisposed patients.
- Soda and Feeds that contain HCFS: High fructose corn syrup is a very concentrated sweetener that forces your pancreas to separate insulin in order to neutralize blood sugar spike that occurs after consumption. High insulin blood levels increase your risk of many diseases, including pancreatic cancer. In fact, there is an undeniable link between high insulin (as well as insulin-resistance) with pancreatic cancer, according to a 2005 JAMA study...The second reason for getting rid of items containing HCFS is because it causes obesity. Obesity affects levels of two other hormones called leptin and adiponectin . When these two hormones fall out of balance, your risk for pancreatic cancer increases. Besides, obesity is an absolute risk factor for pancreatic cancer.
- Non-stick pots. Animal studies showed that a chemical called PFOA is tied to cancer. Studies conflict, however some experts feel that non-stick pots are a source of this chemical. Until we are sure, it is safer to cook with stainless steel.
- Soft plastics that contain phthalates (like water bottles, teething rings)). There are numerous research articles that link phthalates to cancer, including prostate, breast and pancreatic cancer.
- Animal and trans fat. A study in the June 2009 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found a direct relationship between pancreatic cancer and dairy or red meat-derived fats.
Curcumin, coming from the spice turmeric (Curcuma longa), stimulates the enzymes involved in detoxifying free radicals and may be responsible for its anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities.
"With cancer, there are many factors at play but no single smoking gun. If you have diabetes, gallbladder disease, Celiac disease or liver damage, your risk of pancreatic cancer is higher. There are also many household items and foods that increase your risk for pancreatic disease," concludes Ms. Cohen.
(Suzy Cohen's website is at www.dearpharmacist.com)