Pancreatic cancer: the missing link

Maggie Brusky

In regard to the Feb. 14 article in The Minnesota Daily âÄúSoda linked to pancreatic cancer,âÄù I think an important detail is missing: the factor of nature, genetics. It does not say anything about nature being the possible cause of pancreatic cancer or even the cause of a possible predisposition. Is it only the one environmental factor of soda that causes one of the most deadly cancers? I am concerned with the evidence surrounding this bold statement that regular soda is the reason for pancreatic cancer. The 87 percent increase of getting pancreatic cancer due to drinking regular soda really does not conclude anything. Correlation does not indicate causation. Environmental factors are hard to test on subjects because there are so many differing factors. Although some of the bases were covered âÄî age, general health and diet âÄî there is absolutely no indication that genetics could be a factor. Should people now worry about drinking soda, when in fact, this really might not be the cause of pancreatic cancer? I do not think so. Not all bases were covered and again, one experiment that led to a visible correlation cannot conclude causation. I propose investigating the possible genetic factors behind it. Could there be a possible expression of genes that leads to the promotion of the growth of tumor cells within the pancreas? Could it possibly be a genetic factor that increases the bloodâÄôs rise in sugar levels? I think one major factor mentioned within the article might really be a key point that seems to be overlooked. Diabetes is mentioned as having a correlation to pancreatic cancer. This should be investigated further and the genetics should be regarded as a possible cause as well as environmental factors. Maggie Brusky University undergraduate student