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High-Calorie Food Raise Deadly Pancreatic Cancer Risk

Oct 01, 2013 09:23 AM EDT

(Photo : REUTERS/Molly Riley)

Sweets, burgers and other fat-rich food can increase the risk pancreatic cancer, a new study has found.

The study was conducted by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles. They found that obese mice fed with high calorie food had high number of lesions in the pancreas which can cause cancer.

Pancreatic cancers are difficult to detect early as the person may have very vague symptoms till the final stages. Also, the pancreas is hidden behind other organs therefore making it difficult for healthcare personnel to locate a tumor. The survival rate for the cancer is very low; about four to six months.

Previous studies, conducted on large populations, had shown a link between obesity and cancer risk. In this study, researchers used a set of genetically engineered mice with the KR mutation found in human pancreatic cancer patients.

Scientists found that mice fed with high-calorie and high-fat diet put on more weight than mice fed with normal diet. The obese mice also had higher insulin levels and pancreatic inflammation along with pancreas intraepithelial neoplasias PanIN, which are considered to be markers of the deadly disease.

"The development of these lesions in mice is very similar to what happens in humans. These lesions take a long time to develop into cancer, so there is enough time for cancer-preventive strategies, such as changing to a lower-fat, lower-calorie diet, to have a positive effect," Guido Eibl, professor in the department of surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and lead author of the study, according to a news release

The study is published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

Lowering Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

Previous research has shown that certain compounds in celery can kill pancreatic cancer cells. Related researches have shown that smoking and drinking increase cancer risk. Staying away from unhealthy habits and adopting a good lifestyle can help reduce the risk of developing cancer.

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