Storing food in plastic boxes can be the cause of pancreatic cancer

Storing food in plastic boxes can be the cause of pancreatic cancer

This cancer has increased by 30 percent over the last decade and is increasingly affecting younger people.

Environmental factors and processed foods can be the cause of cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is a disease that mainly affects the elderly over 70 years of age, but there has been a significant increase in younger ages, between 40 and 50 and also in the 30s. The president of the Portuguese Pancreas Club (CPP), Ricardo Rio Tinto, warns of the increased incidence of the disease.

According to Ricardo Tinto, quoted on TVI24, this cancer was rare, but it is becoming more frequent and has registered in the last decade “a 30 percent increase, from 1200 to 1800 cases annually.” Smoking and alcoholism continue to be risk factors, as does family history. However: “The genetic factors are not changing, what is changing are the environmental factors.”

The doctor referred that the “modification of the eating style, through an increase in the consumption of processed foods, or those preserved in synthetic containers, may be another explanation” for this increase in cases. He also recalled the care to be taken with alcohol and tobacco; and recommended that the Portuguese follow a diet close to the Mediterranean diet.

Pancreatic cancer is very aggressive and is usually detected at a very late stage. There is no screening test that allows diagnosing the pathology at an early stage: “The pancreas, being an organ that is relatively hidden, access to make some kind of early diagnosis is very difficult. Furthermore, in addition to being hidden, it is close to very important structures.”

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Some of the symptoms to look out for are changes in metabolism, unexplained weight loss, sudden onset of diabetes and monitoring small cysts in the pancreas, which should be “evaluated and monitored throughout life.”

The mortality rate is around 95 percent and less than 20 percent of patients with a tumor in the pancreas “are expected to be cured with an indication for surgery”, explains Ricardo Rio Tinto. Still, 80 percent of these patients die in subsequent years from cancer-related causes.

With Covid-19, “tumors have generally been forgotten,” noted the doctor, who urges anyone who notices symptoms to seek medical advice as soon as possible.