One of the founders of the Sandler-Kenner Foundation discusses risk factors.
Irving, TX, May XX, 2015 – With one of the highest morbidity rates of all forms of cancer, pancreatic cancer is often called the silent killer. A new study is shedding light on some of the potential risk factors for this disease, helping those at risk better understand what they can do to prevent the disease while potentially giving them an edge for early detection.
“Pancreatic cancer is incredibly difficult to detect in its early phases thanks to a lack of symptoms and this organ’s location deep within the body,” says Dr. Gregory Echt, founder of the Sandler-Kenner Foundation and Texas-based Choice Cancer Center. “This is precisely why studies that help identify risk factors more clearly as so valuable. When people understand their risks better, they can take steps toward prevention and they may better position themselves for early detection should the disease present.”
One of the latest studies comes out of Jacksonville’s Mayo Clinic where researchers embarked on a mission to uncover why patients with pancreatic lesions were at higher risk for developing an invasive form of pancreatic cancer. These lesions are considered a potential marker for the development of the disease and are found in an estimated 10 to 40 percent of the population. Lesions, however, are often noncancerous, which makes gaining a better understanding of how they progress into cancer vital.
“Researchers discovered that certain risk factors were present in many patients who had lesions that turned out to be pancreatic cancer,” says Dr. Echt. “While not all may display the risk factors, understanding them can help people take steps to prevent the disease or assist in diagnosing it sooner should it develop.”
Some of the risk factors uncovered included:
· Tobacco use
· Larger cyst sizes
· Cysts in the pancreatic ducts
“While not everyone with pancreatic lesions is at risk for developing pancreatic cancer, understanding factors that can lead to the development of the disease is important,” Dr. Echt says. “Anyone who has a family history of this disease, has pancreatic lesions or believes themselves to be at higher risk for other reasons should consult with a physician.”
The Sandler-Kenner Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) organization that was initially founded at the Las Colinas Center Foundation. It was renamed in 2011 in honor of Michael Sandler and Peter Kenner, who both passed away as a result of this devastating disease.