Cancer treatment could benefit from a study which has established a link between weight gain in young adults and the onset of pancreatic cancer.
Scientists at the University of Texas M D Anderson Cancer Center have found that adults with a high body mass index at a young age are more likely to go on to develop the disease early in life.
Being overweight in the year before pancreatic cancer is diagnosed also had the effect of making the patient's prognosis less positive.
Dr Donghui Li commented: "With our epidemiological research, we aimed to demonstrate the relationship between BMI and risk of pancreatic cancer across a patient's life span and determine if there was a time period that specifically predisposes an individual to the disease, as well as the link between BMI and cancer occurrence and overall survival of the disease."
She added that by discovering the factors that cause some people to be at a high risk of developing cancer, cancer treatment and preventive measures can be implemented at an early stage.
Chief executive and co-founder of Apple Steve Jobs recently confirmed he has received a liver transplant after battling pancreatic cancer.
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