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Incidence of Pancreatic Cancer

Julia Zalokar, MA
JAMA. 1981;246(22):2575. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320220027011.
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To the Editor.—  The article "A Multifactorial Model for Pancreatic Cancer in Man" by Lin and Kessler (1980; 245:147) and the accompanying editorial by Berlin and Williams (1980; 245:171) raise two questions: First, has the incidence of pancreatic cancer increased severalfold in the United States in the last few decades as they state?According to Pollack and Horm,1 mortalities (very close to incidence rates for this usually fatal cancer site) have increased about 30% since 1950. Between 1969 and 1976 the ageadjusted death and incidence rates for cancer of the pancreas have not changed substantially in whites of either sex. Death rates did increase slightly for black women but not for black men. This suggests that the environmental component of the multifactorial causation of this disease has been present for some decades, undoubtedly the case for those who had greater exposure to gasoline and to those exposed to solvents


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