advertisement
Updated 03 October 2013

Fatty diet could increase pancreatic cancer risk

An animal study suggests that a high-fat, high-calorie diet may increase the risk of deadly pancreatic cancer.

A high-fat, high-calorie diet may increase the risk of deadly pancreatic cancer, a new animal study suggests.

Researchers found that mice who became obese by eating high-calorie, high-fat diets developed abnormally high numbers of lesions known to be precursors to pancreatic cancer.

The study, published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, is the first to show a direct link in animals between obesity and the risk of pancreatic cancer, according to the researchers at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Centre at the University of California, Los Angeles.

However, findings in animals do not always bear out in human trials and while the study showed an association, it did not prove a cause-and-effect link between diet and pancreatic cancer risk.

The researchers did say that their findings support eating a low-fat, low-calorie diet as a way to prevent pancreatic cancer.

One of the deadliest cancers

"The development of these lesions in mice is very similar to what happens in humans," study leader Dr Guido Eibl said in a UCLA news release. "These lesions take a long time to develop into cancer, so there is enough time for cancer-preventative strategies, such as changing to a lower-fat, lower-calorie diet, to have a positive effect."

The researchers found that the mice fed the high-calorie, high-fat foods gained significantly more weight than mice on a lower-fat, lower-calorie regimen. They also had metabolic abnormalities, increased insulin levels and inflammation of pancreatic tissue.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest types of cancers. Overall five-year survival rates for this type of cancer are 3% to 5%, and the average length of survival after diagnosis is four to six months.

In many cases, patients only begin to develop symptoms when pancreatic cancer is in the advanced stages. There is a lack of effective treatments, so researchers are focusing on prevention strategies.

More information

The U.S. National Cancer Institute has more about pancreatic cancer.

 

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X

5 reasons to love avocados

2018-10-14 07:00
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Lifestyle »

E-cigarettes: Here are five things to know

E-cigarettes have become hugely popular in the past decade, but a rash of vaping-linked deaths and illnesses in the US is feeding caution about a product that's already banned in some places.

Allergy »

Ditch the itch: Researchers find new drug to fight hives

A new drug works by targeting an immune system antibody called immunoglobulin E, which is responsible for the allergic reaction that causes hives.