Cancer of the pancreas is a genetic disease which means that it is caused by. The genetics of hereditary pancreatic cancer is a focus of research at Johns .
In most cases pancreatic cancer doesn't run in families. However, a small number of rare genetic conditions are linked to a higher risk of pancreatic cancer. These are sometimes called family cancer syndromes. Up to one in ten (10%) pancreatic cancers may be caused by one of these conditions.
The risk may be higher for people who smoke and people who have diabetes. The EUROPAC study is also looking at hereditary pancreatitis. It is not common for pancreatitis to run in families. But chronic (long-term) pancreatitis that isn't inherited may also increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.