Changes in the use of certain medications could be a sign of pancreatic cancer.

Scientists looked at drug changes in nearly 150,000 nurses and other health professionals. Those who either (a) started taking drugs to lower blood sugar or (b) stopped taking drugs to lower blood pressure were roughly twice as likely to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer over the next two years as those with neither of those drug changes. People with both of those drug changes were five times more likely to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

It’s not that the drugs cause cancer. Rather, pancreatic cancer can cause high blood sugar and weight loss (which can lower blood pressure).

What to do

Pancreatic cancer is rare, even in people with both drug changes. But they might prompt your doctor to do further tests.


Let's stay in touch

Get our (free) healthy tips

Our free Healthy Tips newsletter offers a peek at what Nutrition Action subscribers get—scrupulously researched advice about food of all kinds, staying healthy with diet and exercise, and more.

Sign up now