Tobacco may trigger early onset of pancreatic cancer in those with a genetic predisposition to the disease, according to a new study. Pancreatic cancer is rare and has a 4-percent five-year survival rate. Only a small percentage of patients have the familial form.
Researchers studied 826 patients with pancreatic cancer. Thirty of these patients had familial pancreatic cancer, in which case the patient had a first-degree relative with the disease. Researchers found earlier age at diagnosis and a smoking history were marked features among the familial group. Nearly 20-percent more of patients with the familial form were diagnosed before age 50 than those with sporadic pancreatic cancer.
In conclusion researchers say , patients with a family history of pancreatic cancer must be strongly counseled against smoking, and smokers with a family history of pancreatic cancer should be informed of their increased risk and offered enrollment into a smoking cessation program.