Despite a growing awareness of the disease, research into pancreatic cancer is still "sorely underfunded" at the moment, it has been claimed.
The recent death of actor Patrick Swayze has been credited with raising the profile of this type of cancer, with Pancreatic Cancer UK noting that it has seen an upturn in inquiries from concerned members of the public over recent months.
Despite this, the charity has warned that scientific research into the main causes of the disease, as well as the best way to try and tackle it, is continuing to be hampered by a relative lack of funding when compared to other types of cancer.
The charity's chief executive Alex Ford explained that there are several principal risk factors for the condition.
"One in five cases of pancreatic cancer are caused by [smoking]," he said.
"Having type one or type two diabetes doubles the risk. Obesity and family history gives about a ten per cent risk," he added.
Research carried out for the NCRI Strategic Analysis of 2002 found that pancreatic cancer accounts for five per cent of all deaths from cancer in the UK, though only receives around one per cent of cancer research funding.
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