Symptoms of pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer usually does not cause symptoms in its early stages. As the cancer grows, symptoms begin to appear. It includes:
abdominal or back pain
yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes (jaundice)
unexplained weight loss
Pancreatic cancer symptoms can be vague. These can be caused by other conditions, but it’s important to get checked out by a doctor. If you develop any new symptoms that do not go away, contact your doctor.
About the symptoms of pancreatic cancer
Symptoms vary depending on where the tumor is located in the pancreas (head, body, tail). Most pancreatic cancers begin in the cells that make digestive juices, called exocrine tumors. The most common form of pancreatic cancer is called adenocarcinoma.
Abdominal or back pain
7 out of 10 (70%) people with pancreatic cancer go to the doctor because of pain. Pain is common in pancreatic body and tail cancer. People describe it as a dull, dull pain. It can start in the abdomen and spread to the back. The pain is worse when lying down and better when sitting forward. It may be worse after eating.
Some people may only have back pain. It is usually felt in the center of the back and is often persistent.
Many people with pancreatic cancer are jaundiced when they first see their doctor. Most of them will also be painful. About 10 out of 100 people (about 10%) have painless jaundice.
Jaundice refers to yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes. Urine (urine) may be darker than normal, and feces (feces or stool) may be lighter in color. Jaundice is common with pancreatic head cancer because the tumor blocks the bile ducts. This tube carries bile to the small intestine (duodenum). If blocked, bile enters the bloodstream. You excrete it in your urine (which darkens it) and not in your bowels (so your stool looks lighter).
Bile contains a lot of yellow pigment, which makes the skin yellow. It may be less noticeable on dark or brown skin. It is easier to see on the whites of the eyes than on the skin.
Jaundice is a common symptom of many diseases of the liver and gallbladder.
Learn more about the bile duct
People diagnosed with pancreatic cancer may have recently lost a lot of weight (at least 10% of their total body weight) for no apparent reason. This symptom is more common in pancreatic head cancer.
Other signs or symptoms
Pancreatic cancer can cause other signs and symptoms. This can happen before or after the cancer is diagnosed. Not everyone has all the symptoms.
Some people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are diagnosed with diabetes for the first time. Some were diagnosed with diabetes in the previous year. If you have diabetes, you don’t produce enough insulin. So your blood sugar is too high. Sugar leaves the body in the urine and takes some water with it.
weight loss and hunger
Severe jaundice may cause itching. An increase in the concentration of bile salts in the blood can cause itchy skin.
You may feel discomfort due to jaundice and inflammation of the pancreas. Both of these conditions disrupt the body’s delicate chemical balance.
If surrounding cancer or inflammation begins to block the passage of food from the stomach to the first part of the intestine, you may be sick. Due to the disease, the appetite decreases, which leads to weight loss.
If your pancreatic duct is blocked, you may experience symptoms called steatorrhea. It means faeces (poop). Stools that are hard to wash away, large, pale in color, and have an unpleasant odor may occur frequently. These intestinal disorders mean that food is not digested properly. It also leads to weight loss.
Fever and chills
You may occasionally have a fever due to jaundice or inflammation of the pancreas. When you have a high fever, you may feel cold and chilly.
Indigestion can cause heartburn, bloating, and nausea. This is a common problem in the general population, and for most people, it is not a sign of cancer.
If it doesn’t go away or doesn’t improve with medication, you should see your doctor again.
Sometimes pancreatic cancer is associated with blood clots. They can develop, for example, deep veins in the legs or small veins anywhere on the body. Sometimes the lump disappears and then forms elsewhere on the body.
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