Medical researchers remain unsure of the exact causes of pancreatic cancer, but they have discovered many factors that increase the risks, including genetic makeup and lifestyle. The fact that a person has a higher risk profile for some reason does not mean they will certainly get the disease. The links are not well understood, but the statistics do suggest some correlation. In the UK pancreatic cancer is the tenth most common cancer with around 9,000 new cases per year. It is probable that the figures for other western countries are comparable.

1. A disease of the elderly

Everyone hopes to reach old age but this period of life also brings its health challenges and unfortunately pancreatic cancer could be one of them. Figures show that the disease is relatively uncommon in the under 40s. Figures from the UK indicate that about half of all new cases involve people aged over 75. These statistics suggest that something in the aging processes, possibly a weakening of the immune system, increases the risks of developing the disease. Hopefully, future research will help doctors understand this process better and perhaps develop preventative treatments.