To the Editor: Smoking approximately doubles
the risk of pancreatic cancer,1 the fourth
most common cause of death from cancer in the United States. In addition,
about 5% to 10% of patients have an inherited genetic predisposition to this
tumor.2 A large variety of germ-line defects
have been detected in families with pancreatic cancer, including the familial
pancreatic cancer syndrome, mutations in the BRCA2
gene, the familial atypical multiple mole melanoma syndrome, hereditary nonpolyposis
colorectal carcinoma syndrome, the Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, and hereditary
Median age (horizontal lines) at onset of cancer: ever smokers, 50
years and never smokers, 70 years (P = .02, Mann-Whitney
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