In a case study published in the American Journal of Gastroentrology recently, there is a quote by a cancer specialist which says “those who smoke and drink heavily may develop pancreatic cancer at an earlier age than those who don’t”. It has been found that chain smokers and heavy drinkers are detected with pancreatic cancer at an age of 62 and 61, a decade earlier than the average of detection.
The study was conducted on 811 patients suffering from pancreatic cancer. Their case history was accumulated from the international database Pancreatic Cancer Collaborative Registry, an organization that collects information about pancreatic cancer patients and those with a risk of developing it. In the study, people who smoke over a packet every day and drink thrice every day are termed as chain smokers and heavy drinkers.
Commenting on the findings of this study, Dr. Jagdev Singh Sekhon, HOD & cancer surgeon at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, says, “Smoking is a strong risk factor for pancreatic cancer and alcohol has been shown to cause oxidative damage to the pancreas, which sets the stage for the inflammatory pathways that can lead to cancer. The findings only indicate these habits can lead to developing pancreatic cancer earlier in life.”
However the study only gives an indication that these habits can lead to the development of early pancreatic cancer but does not give any proof.