Excess body weight tips the scale on pancreatic cancer risk

Following our recent report that reviewed the latest evidence on pancreatic cancer risk we have put together an infographic for Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month that captures the key risk factors and the scale of the problem.

Pancreatic cancer is often advanced by the time someone experiences symptoms, which means people often don’t consult a doctor until it’s too late. Less than one in five survive the disease a year after diagnosis.

The latest prevention research confirms that you can help avoid pancreatic cancer by maintaining a healthy weight. Excess body weight and smoking both increase risk.

Check out the risk factors and the numbers of people affected globally by this disease. Let us know what you think about this infographic. Helpful?

6 Responses to “Excess body weight tips the scale on pancreatic cancer risk”

  1. Ali Stunt said:

    Nov 22, 12 at 2:06 pm

    A great infographic. However,it would have been good to see more up to date incidence figures used – our last ones were 2009 and we (Pancreatic Cancer Action) are about to publish our stats using 2010 figures. If you repeat this exercise, we would be happy to give you the latest stats. Also, as smoking accounts for 1/3 of all cases, maybe a preventative message involving lifestyle should mention this?
    Ali Stunt
    Chief Executive
    Pancreatic Cancer Action

  2. admin said:

    Nov 23, 12 at 10:12 am

    We’re delighted you like the infographic. The figures used are the most
    up-to-date worldwide cancer statistics, available from IARC¹s GLOBOCAN
    data (http://globocan.iarc.fr). We use this data source for all our global
    cancer statistics as they¹re recognized by the World Health Organization.
    It would be good to know if there are other useful global data sources
    that you would recommend. For the UK we have published a similar
    infographic where we have used 2009 data compiled from the four UK cancer
    registries.Thank you for your offer of 2010 data for the UK we’d be very
    interested to take you up on this.


    As you rightly point out smoking is the major risk factor but WCRF focuses
    on cancer risk as it relates to diet, physical activity and body weight as
    many other good charities such as yours cover smoking in their work.

  3. Nalliah Thayabharan said:

    Dec 01, 12 at 5:48 am

    Cancer is less a disease than a condition existing in the whole human body. Cancer would be almost unheard of if no devitalized food or meats were eaten since cancer cannot exist where there is a pure bloodstream. Avoid meat in all forms including dairy. Meat is a dead matter, low in minerals, and produces uric acid in excess which is a waste product. The incidence of cancer is in direct proportion to the amount of meat and meat products in the diet. Regular meat eaters (especially red meat) have a higher probability of getting cancers, such as colon cancer and prostate cancer. Digestion of meat uses trypsin and chymotrypsin, which are two critical enzymes in the human body to allow the immune system to kill cancer cells. Vegetable proteins do not use up those enzymes. Cancer patient should not eat anything that is not building the immunity system or killing cancer cells. Meat does not contribute to curing the cancer, so meat is should be avoided by cancer patients. There are plenty of foods that help cure cancer, so there is no need to eat meat. Pancreatin enzymes can be destroyed by contact with acids. Diet comprised mostly of processed refined foods and meats may result in lower pH that depletes these enzymes in the human body. Cancer cells metabolize foods very inefficiently and produce acidic wastes. This extra acidity can further lower the pH levels in an already acidic environment for pancreatin enzymes. The lower pH level also enables the cancer to spread by using acid dissolved normal cells as its food source. This strongly acidic lower pH environment, especially local to the cancer is the primary reason that cancer does not normally heal on its own. The colon should be relatively clear during a cancer treatment so that the body can absorb as many nutrients as possible.


    All foods like meat which ferment in the bowel should be avoided to prevent the accumulation of fecal matter in the colon. The hormones in meat like artificial sex hormone widely used in cattle – Diethylstilbestrol cause cancer of the uterus, breast and other reproductive organs. Dangerous residues of stilbestrol are in 85% of all the meat sold in North America. This is the main reason why fifteen countries around the world now refuse to import meat produced in the US; and twenty one countries have a total ban on the use of stilbestrol in food production or processing. When chemical preservatives and color enhancers are ingested, they cause the body to produce nitrosamines which cause cancer of the liver, stomach, brain, bladder, kidneys and several other organs. Nitrates and nitrites are heavily added to meat during processing. Runoff of nitrates and nitrites from fields sprayed with chemical fertilizers get into drinking water and cause cancer. can lead to cancer. If the digestive system is weak, digestion of meat could produce toxins in blood.


    Though devitalized, processed, and sugared food can also cause cancer even in vegetarians. People, communities and groups who consume less meat have less cancer. Seventh-day Adventists, who eat little or no meat, suffer far less from cancer than the average meat-eating American. High protein diet of Americans is linked to the high incidence of cancer in the US. Anyone who does not eat meat, eats only good food, and does all he can to protect his liver, may never get cancer.
    The second solution is to introduce the appropriate calciums into the body since the body uses calcium as the chief alkalinizer of all body fluids including the intra-cellular fluids. Cancers and tumors can only exist in a predominantly lower pH (acidic) environment caused by a diet rich in dairy foods, meats, grain products, sweets and strong condiments such as black pepper. This is always accompanied by an acute lack of living fruits and vegetables. High acidity destroys bones, because the body has to use alkalizing minerals from bones to keep the blood pH from dropping into the acid range.


    Lactobacillus acidophilus is a friendly organism which helps the body fight disease and restores health. Acidophilus kills the harmful bacteria strain of E. coli in the intestinal tract. Acidophilus breaks milk sugar down into lactic acid. Bacteria which produce putrefaction and gas in the intestines cannot live in lactic acid. Acidophilus also has the unique ability to help the body synthesize, or manufacture all of the ‘B’ vitamins in the system. This makes it especially valuable since there is literally a host of agents which destroy B vitamins. A few are antibiotics, birth control pills, eating sugar and refined foods and drinking coffee. A diet high in red meat will destroy the beneficial bacteria, due to the concentration of antibiotics and steroids given to the animals before they are slaughtered.


    Cancer is fundamentally involved with mal-utilization of protein. Oncologists generally agree that the actual cause of death in cancer patients is cachexia, a condition of severe weight loss and wasting associated with protein mal-absorption. In fact cancer cells are able to grow by making the amino acids of protein available for their growth at the expense of the body as a whole. Meat, especially red meat, being the most readily assimilable protein, becomes a banquet for cancer cells. Emphasizing the use of plant sources of vegetable protein such as legumes and beans that contain cancer-fighting compounds should be a prominent part of an anti-cancer diet.


    The most damaging evidence that meat is a major cause of cancer are studies of people who went into spontaneous remission solely because of a change in their diet. These people almost universally went from a cooked food, meat-centered diet and gave up their meat, their dairy products and their refined sugar and switched to a raw food vegetarian diet, and by simply changing diets their bodies were able to cure their cancer.

  4. BOBBI O'NEIL said:

    Dec 01, 12 at 5:42 pm

    I don’t understand the change in thinking that red food and liquids are beneficial for the body including red wines.I am a survivor of breast cancer and have been drinking red wine as my only alcohol I use, Now I find out alcohol can cause breast cancer.
    What is the truth about benefit/not. Sincerely, MS O’NEIL

  5. WCRF International Administrator said:

    Dec 06, 12 at 3:34 pm

    There is strong evidence that drinking alcohol increases the risk of many cancers including breast cancer. There are antioxidants in red wine, but the negative effects of the alcohol on cancer risk far outweigh any positive benefits. All types of alcoholic drink (beer, red wine, spirits etc) have the same effect on cancer risk. Here’s a link to alcohol advice from WCRF UK: http://www.wcrf-uk.org/cancer_prevention/recommendations/alcohol_and_cancer.php

  6. WCRF International Administrator said:

    Dec 06, 12 at 3:36 pm

    @Nalliah Thayabharan Thank you for your comment. Our work is focused on systematically reviewing and assessing the evidence on nutrition, physical activity, weight and cancer. The most comprehensive report on the subject is our Expert Report. With an overview of all the research, our Expert Report identifies 10 public health recommendations, one of which is on meat consumption. As important new studies are always being published, we have a process to evaluate and interpret these new studies through our Continuous Update Project. Here’s a link to our diet and cancer website where you can review all the research and conclusions: http://www.dietandcancerreport.org/


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