Overeating Tied to Pancreatic Cancer

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A recent study finds that obesity and overeating might be risk factors for deadly pancreatic cancer, but eating certain vegetables might cut that risk down by half. Pancreatic cancer kills more than 95 percent of its victims, making it the fifth deadliest cancer in the United States and the sixth deadliest in Europe. The disease is difficult to detect because of its vague symptoms of abdominal aches. The cancer is usually diagnosed only after it has spread, and patients live an average of three months after diagnosis, reports Nature News Service.

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., inter- viewed 526 people with the disease, comparing lifestyles, dietary habits and family history of cancer with those of people with similar backgrounds who did not have the disease. Scientists found that over- weight people who eat too much have a 70 percent greater chance of developing the cancer.

However, eating more broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage or other vegetables high in antioxidants might reduce that risk by 50 percent. Smoking and old age are also known risk factors for the disease, and exercise might be important in protecting against the cancer. The research team published their findings in the journal Teratogenesis, Carcinogenesis and Mutagenesis.