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  1. Health and Nutrition News

  2. Nov 23, 2010

Advances in Pancreatic Cancer Detection and Prevention

It takes an average of 6.8 years for a pancreatic cancer cell to spread to other organs, and an average of 2.7 years from then until the patient’s death, according to a new study published in the journal Nature. Researchers used genetic testing methods to detect cancer progression by identifying specific genes thought to influence cancer growth. These timelines for disease progression may be useful for new screening methods in hopes of detecting cancer earlier.

Meanwhile, an Italian study in Cancer Causes and Control shows that diets rich in fruits and vegetables can reduce pancreatic cancer risk. Those who consumed the most fruits and vegetables had an estimated 40 percent decreased risk, compared with those who ate the least. The study found that frequent meat consumption can double risk and that table sugar and white potatoes also increase risk. The researchers suspect insulin resistance may play a role in pancreatic cancer.


  1. Yachida S, Jones S, Bozic I, et al. Distant metastasis occurs late during the genetic evolution of pancreatic cancer. Nature. 2010;467:1114-1117.
  2. Polesel J, Talamini R, Negri E, et al. Dietary habits and risk of pancreatic cancer: an Italian case-control study. Cancer Causes Control. 2010;21:493-500.

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