Causes of pancreatic cancer

Who is more likely to get pancreatic cancer

Anyone can get pancreatic cancer. It's not always clear what causes it.

You might be more likely to get it if you:

Many pancreatic cancers are also linked to your lifestyle.

How to lower your risk of pancreatic cancer

You cannot always prevent pancreatic cancer. But making healthy changes can lower your chances of getting it.


  • try to lose weight if you're overweight

  • cut down on how much red and processed meat (such as ham, bacon and salami) you eat

  • try to cut down on alcohol – avoid drinking more than 14 units a week

  • try to quit smoking


It's important to get any symptoms of pancreatic cancer checked by a GP, even if you do not think you have a higher chance of getting it.

Anyone can get pancreatic cancer.

Page last reviewed: 9 June 2023
Next review due: 9 June 2026