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Cancer-Proof Your Pancreas

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A hidden health concern for some men is pancreatic cancer. Processed meats may be insidious culprits. Researchers believe that the chemical reactions in the preparation of processed meats may be the problem. A high fruit and vegetable diet dramatically reduces risk of pancreatic cancer. Those who consumed five daily portions of highly protective produce, particularly beans, carrots, citrus fruits, corn, dark leafy vegetables, garlic, onions, and sweet potatoes reduced their risk of pancreatic cancer by 50 percent.

A hidden health concern for some men is pancreatic cancer. Processed meats may be insidious culprits.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth largest killer of both men and women in Canada. Usually affecting more men than women, it is particularly aggressive. Often it is not diagnosed until quite advanced, possibly because its symptoms are nonspecific–abdominal pain, weight loss, and jaundice–but also because the pancreas lies deep in the abdomen and is often missed during physical checkups. Both detection and treatment are difficult, so prevention plays a key role.

In 2005, researchers at the University of Hawaii announced that eating hot dogs, sausages, and other processed meats increases the risk of pancreatic cancer. Out of 190,400 people participating in the seven-year study, those who ate more processed meat had a 67-percent increased risk of contracting pancreatic cancer compared to those with the lowest intake. Researchers believe that the chemical reactions in the preparation of processed meats may be the problem.

The good news is that research from the University of California shows that a high fruit and vegetable diet dramatically reduces risk of pancreatic cancer. Those who consumed five daily portions of highly protective produce, particularly beans, carrots, citrus fruits, corn, dark leafy vegetables, garlic, onions, and sweet potatoes reduced their risk of pancreatic cancer by 50 percent.

All health researchers note that the key known lifestyle factor for incidence of pancreatic cancer is cigarette use.

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