Background: The objective of this article was to overview the epidemiology of pancreatic cancer. We summarize the results of the Japan Collaborative Cohort Study (JACC Study) and some previous studies.
Methods: References were mainly in a Medline search through Pub Med database. In addition, 3 papers about the JACC Study were quoted.
Results: In the JACC Study, the standardized mortality ratio of pancreatic cancer was 0.97 in females and 0.84 in males. Diabetes mellitus (DM) has increased the risk for pancreatic cancer in many studies. In the JACC Study, DM had a risk for pancreatic cancer in males (hazard ratio=2.12). Cigarette smoking has been associated with pancreatic cancer in many studies. In the JACC Study, the hazard ratio for current smokers was 1.6 in males, and 1.7 in females. The ratio was 3.3 who smoked 40+ cigarettes/day in males. In the JACC Study, alcohol intake was not associated with pancreatic cancer. These results are consistent with the other studies. Coffee consumption has not been associated with pancreatic cancer in many studies. In the JACC Study, the hazard ratio significantly increased to 3.19 among men who consumed 4+ cups of coffee per day. The relationships between diet /nutrition and pancreatic cancer are not clear in many studies.
Conclusion: The relation between smoking and pancreatic cancer is most consistently described. A further analysis of the relationships between family history, hormonal factors in females, dietary and nutritional factors, obesity, physical activity and pancreatic cancer is necessary.