Simple changes to lifestyle such as avoiding smoking and keeping to a healthy weight could prevent almost two in five cases of pancreatic cancer, according to Cancer Research UK.
Of the roughly 8,800 people diagnosed with the disease each year, fewer than one in twenty will survive five years.
But the charity said 37% of those diagnosed could have avoided the disease by staying away from cigarettes and watching their weight.
Cancer Research UK's director of early diagnosis, Sara Hiom, said: "Cancer is a complex set of diseases. For some, lifestyle can play an important role, and is one aspect of the disease that we have some control over."
"Pancreatic cancer is a disease with poor outcomes and is less well understood, so it's important that we talk about the things people can do to stack the odds in their favour and reduce their risk," she added.