World Bulletin / News Desk
People who smoke or drink heavily may develop pancreatic cancer at an earlier age than those who avoid those habits, according to a U.S. study, but quitting both appears to help.
It's long been known that smoking is a risk factor for developing pancreatic cancer, a disease that is rarely caught early and has a grim prognosis. Only about five of every 100 people diagnosed with the cancer remain alive five years later.
The evidence on heavy drinking has been more mixed, but some studies have suggested it's also a risk factor. The new results, which appeared in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, show the disease may strike smokers and drinkers earlier in life.
"If you do have these habits, and you're going to develop pancreatic cancer, the age of presentation may be younger," said lead researcher Michelle Anderson, at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor.
Her team also found that the effect disappeared for former smokers and drinkers if they had quit 10 years or more before being diagnosed.
On average, the risk of developing pancreatic cancer is about one in 71, and the average age at diagnosis is 72, according to the American Cancer Society.
But in this study, current smokers and heavy drinkers were diagnosed a decade earlier than that.
The findings are based on 811 patients in a pancreatic cancer registry.
Those who were current smokers were typically diagnosed at around age 62, versus age 70 among non-smokers. Heavy drinkers, meanwhile, were typically diagnosed at age 61, almost a decade earlier than non-drinkers.
The findings do not prove that smoking or drinking led to the earlier cancers, but Anderson's team did account for a number of other factors, such as body weight and family history of pancreatic cancer. Smoking and heavy drinking were still linked to earlier diagnoses.
Europe's top court ruled on Thursday that obese people can be considered as disabled, meaning that they can be covered by an EU law barring discrimination at work.
The greater the exposure to fine particulates emitted by fires, vehicles, and industrial smokestacks the greater the risk, found the study
Mali's last infected patient recovered and left hospital last week, while the remaining individuals who came in contact with an infected person finished a mandatory 21-day quarantine
The young man, who hails from the southern city of Khan Younis, was the Gaza Strip's first H1N1 fatality
The text appeased developing countries, including China and India, concerned that previous drafts would impose too heavy a burden on emerging economies
Global environmental umbrella organization designates country as most backward at UN climate conference in Lima.
Ship carrying 1,500 tons of food and medical supplies heads to Ebola-hit West Africa who is need of urgent medical supplies.
Peru has more tropical glaciers than any other nation but rising temperatures linked to global warming have helped shrink the ice masses by up to 40 percent
Pesticide poisoning causes inability to breathe, chemical burns, loss of reflexes, twitching, and ultimately death, experts say
The human safety trials, which began in Geneva on Nov. 10, are due to resume on Jan. 5 in up to 15 volunteers after checks to ensure that joint pain symptoms in hands and feet were "benign and temporary"
The Nazca Lines are a set of giant images of plants and animals, such as a monkey, a spider and a hummingbird, excavated in the soil some 1,500 years ago.
Experts have sounded the alarm in recent years over how plastic pollution is killing huge numbers of seabirds, marine mammals and other creatures while sullying ocean ecosystems.
Nine months into the worst Ebola outbreak on record, Ebola is still spreading in Sierra Leone and parts of Guinea.
The death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has risen to 6,331 in the three worst hit countries, with Sierra Leone overtaking Liberia as the country with the highest number of cases
A total of 140 cases of measles had been reported whilst 6 people have died from the disease according to the Egyptian Health Ministry
The Ethiopian government is in the middle of a biannual spike in malaria as it seeks to control the epidemic.