Trace elements and pancreatic cancer prevention in primary care

A pancreatic cancer prevention strategy in primary care could focus on assessment of twenty-four hour urine for toxic and trace metals in at risk individuals, and in those suspected of exposure to such agents, according to Blackmores Institute Contributing Medical Editor Dr Mark Donohoe.  “Selenium supplementation may also play a preventative role, and identifying deficiency is possible through twenty-four hour urine testing in those with known a risk of pancreatic cancer," Dr Donohoe says. Pancreatic cancer is a highly aggressive form of cancer and mortality rates have remained stable over the past forty years. Smoking is the best established risk factor, and age, chronic pancreatitis, Type 2 Diabetes, obesity, cirrhosis of the liver and family history are also considerations. Despite decades of research into its aetiology, little is known about the disease’s causes, but an emerging body of research points to the significance of trace and toxic elements in pancreatic carcinogenesis.

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