Washington, May 22 : There may be nothing more refreshing downing chilled bottles of beer on a summer afternoon, but you had better be careful about the amount of the drink you guzzle, for a new study suggests that too much beer can actually speed up the onset of pancreatic cancer.
The study led by Dr. Michelle A. Anderson, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Michigan has found that heavy smokers and drinkers are at a greater risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
The team led by Anderson assessed smoking and drinking (or abstinence) patterns of 453 patients from The Pancreatic Cancer Collaborative Registry.
The findings revealed that patients who smoked were at an increased risk of developing pancreatic disease at a younger age and there were dose-related effects.
People who smoked more than a pack a day for 40 years or more than two packs for 20 years developed cancer seven years before non-smokers.
Moreover, heavy drinkers who consumed more than three daily drinks developed cancer 10 years before than non-drinkers, reports Live Science
Anderson said when they compared beer, wine and hard liquor consumption the team discovered that beer reduced the age of developing pancreatic cancer the most.
She also said that heavy alcohol intake may induce chronic inflammatory changes that are also linked with cancer.
Pancreatic cancer diagnosis is often difficult until it reaches later stages.
A study led by Dr. Richard Zubarik, associate professor of medicine and chief of endoscopy at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, Vt revealed that combining two methods may provide better screening.
They used a a blood test called CA19-9, to detect a tumour marker most often used to monitor disease progress and predict survival rates and combined it with an endoscopic ultrasound to try to detect the cancer in the earliest stages.
Of the 272 patients enrolled, one patient was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and one with abnormal pancreatic cell growth.
Dr. Ananya Das, associate chair of medicine, Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz said that those who received the ultrasound at diagnosis had a somewhat longer average survival time.