Overview An estimated 36,800 people will die of pancreatic cancer in the United States in 2010.1 This disease is the fourth most common cause of cancer-related death among men and women in the United States.1 Its peak incidence occurs in the seventh and eighth decades of life. Although incidence is roughly equal for the sexes, African Americans seem to have a higher incidence of pancreatic cancer than white Americans.2 These guidelines only discuss tumors of the exocrine pancreas; neuroendocrine tumors are not included. By definition, these NCCN Guidelines cannot incorporate all possible clinical variations and are not intended to replace good clinical judgment or individualization of treatments. Exceptions to the rule were discussed among the panel members during development of these guidelines. A 5% rule (omitting clinical scenarios that constitute fewer than 5% of all cases) was used to eliminate uncommon clinical occurrences or conditions from these guidelines. The panel unanimously endorses participation in a clinical trial as the preferred option over standard or accepted therapy. Risk Factors and Genetic Predisposition Although the associated increase in risk is small, the development of pancreatic cancer is firmly linked to cigarette smoking.3–5 Some evidence shows that increased consumption of red meat and dairy products is associated with an elevation in pancreatic cancer risk,6 although other studies have failed to identify dietary risk factors.4 An increased body mass index is also associated with increased risk.7–9 Occupational exposure to chemicals, such as beta-naphthylamine and benzidine, is also associated with an increased risk of pancreatic...
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