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Epidemiology and Risk Factors for Exocrine Pancreatic Cancer in a Northern African Population



The etiology of pancreatic cancer remains largely unknown. Although epidemiological studies have reported that many environmental factors may contribute to the development of pancreatic cancer, only age and cigarette smoking have been established as consistent risk factors for the disease.


Studying the biological clinical and histological features of patients with pancreatic cancer in order to assess the possible risk factors for pancreatic cancer in a North African population.


An epidemiological retrospective descriptive study has been performed at the level of surgery department of the university hospital of Sidi bel Abbes region, western Algeria, from 2007 to 2013.


A total of 87 patients were diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas (55 males and 32 females) with a mean age of 63.1 years, ranging from 16 to 96 years old, and a sex ratio of 1.71. In 92 % of cases, pancreatic tumors were located at the head of the pancreas; the most predominant histological type was the adenocarcinoma; cigarette smokers represented the rate of 24.3 % and alcoholics 13.5 %. The most recorded disease among patients medical history was diabetes mellitus (25.28 %). About 35.63 % was the prominent rate of patients who underwent cholecystectomy and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after an average duration of 5.23 years. Our patients were mostly diagnosed with cancer at M1 and T3 stages.


According to our results, cholecystectomy could possibly be a risk factor for pancreatic cancer in Algerian population

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The authors would like to thank the members of surgery departments of Sidi bel Abbes hospital for their invaluable support, guidance, and educational insight.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Feriel Sellam.

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Sellam, F., Harir, N., Khaled, M.B. et al. Epidemiology and Risk Factors for Exocrine Pancreatic Cancer in a Northern African Population. J Gastrointest Canc 46, 126–130 (2015).

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  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Epidemiology
  • Risk factors
  • Northern African population