New analysis published in the journal BMJ confirmed the connection between obesity and pancreatic cancer, along with 10 other cancer types.

The study, primarily conducted by researchers at Imperial College London, analyzed results from 204 previously published studies exploring the connection between obesity, weight gain, waist circumference and 36 different cancers.

Researchers concluded that an increase in a person’s body mass index (BMI) was associated with a higher cancer risk in the pancreas, kidneys, esophagus, bone marrow and biliary tract system.

“Obesity certainly plays a role in pancreatic cancer incidence, but it’s one of many risk factors,” said Victoria Manax Rutson, MD, our chief medical officer who was not involved in this study. “Pancreatic cancer doesn’t discriminate, which is why we need to continue research for better treatments and early detection.”

Pancreatic cancer risk factors vary, ranging from a family history of the disease to diabetes or smoking.

Additionally, if you have two or more first-degree relatives who have had pancreatic cancer, a first-degree relative who developed pancreatic cancer before the age of 50 or an inherited genetic syndrome associated with pancreatic cancer, you may have an increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

We strongly recommend consulting with a genetic counselor to determine your risk and eligibility for a screening program.

For additional information on pancreatic cancer risk factors, genetic counselors, and screening programs, contact our Patient Central Associates at (877) 435-8650 or patientcentral@pancan.org.