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 Dear Editor:

Dr. Galvin (Ask The Doc, 11/4/21) gave a precise and concise discussion of the increasing prevalence of pancreatic cancer. As a result of the pancreas anatomical location and being one of two gastrointestinal organs, the other being the esophagus, that lack a surrounding protective coat, it’s clinical presentation and distant spread is often detected at a later stage. Aside from genetic etiologies, inflammatory conditions seem to play an increasing role in pancreas cancer development.

Chronic inflammation resulting from dietary habits of consuming large amounts of red meat, alcohol, obesity and smoking seem to play an important role. Our current treatment continues to focus on stopping cancer cell division by using aggressive chemotherapy, and tricking tumor cells into starvation, but allowing host cells to survive.

This can be accomplished by changing the inflammatory environment through diet and exercise which can change the metabolic environment.

The importance of diet managed by a dietitian and the need to remain physically active with regular exercise and maintaining a positive outlook all remain key to better long-term survival.

William Erber MD



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