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Pancreatic cancer and the risk factors associated with pancreatic cancer

WK Abdel Rahim, - Bilques, A Shahrin, AM Siddika
Published in : HAMDAN MEDICAL JOURNAL ; Vol 8, No 4 (2015): Supplement Issue
DOI : 10.7707/hmj.577


Introduction: Globally, pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths among men and women and it is the fifth most common cancer in the United Arab Emirates. Health professionals in the UAE expect pancreatic cancer may become one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths as the risk factors for this disease are very prevalent in the population. The lack of progress in primary prevention, early diagnosis and treatment underscores the need for additional efforts in pancreatic cancer research.

Objectives: To evaluate risk factors, symptoms, molecular aspects and recent advances in early detection and treatment.

Materials and methods: Data extracted from medical search engines, such as ProQuest, Thomson, Micromedex and other literature resources.

Results: UAE ranks 11th worldwide with a diabetes mellitus prevalence of 18.9%, and those people have a 50% increased risk of pancreatic cancer. Obese individuals have a 20% higher risk of pancreatic cancer. In the UAE, 39.9% of women and 25.6% of men are obese. Approximately 20% of the pancreatic cancer is attributable to cigarette smoking. The number of smokers in the UAE is increasing. K-ras oncogene mutations, inactivating alterations of p53, p16, DPC4 tumour suppressor genes may lead to pancreatic cancer. A new biomarker, mesothelin, detects early stages. The pancreatic cancer vaccine has shown promise in phase II human trials. Phase III will provide definitive answers.

Conclusions: Pancreatic cancer is a challenging disease. Diabetes mellitus, obesity and smoking are the main health issues in the UAE, and also strong risk factors.

Acknowledgements: Dr Gulam Saidunnisa Begum and Dr Jeevan Shetty.

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