Pancreatic cancer is always called “silent cancer” for the reason that it’s believed that its initial symptoms can either be vague or unrecognized or both. The symptoms of pancreatic cancer can, however, present themselves early enough in most cases. The following are some of the commonest symptoms you can look out for if you suspect you have pancreatic cancer:
Cancer of the pancreas is one of the cancers that have very few if any signs. The moment you have a sign of it, it often is too late for surgery.
Symptoms of Cancer Of The Pancreas
Notably, symptoms of cancer of the pancreas, unfortunately, occur only late into the disease. In general, here are some of the symptoms that commonly lead to the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer (modified from Ref. 1, p.852).
Jaundice is the yellowing of the skin and eyes. Many individuals with cancer of the pancreas plus all other people with ampullary cancer will experience this disease as one of the primary indications.Other symptoms of pancreatic cancer related to jaundice include dark urine, itchy skin, and greasy or light-colored stools.
ABDOMINAL OR BACK PAIN
Pain in the belly (abdomen) or back is common in people with pancreatic cancer. When cancer starts in the tail or body of the pancreas, it can grow relatively huge and begin to press the nearby tissues and organs, thus causing pain. When cancer spreads to the nerves that surround the pancreas, it usually causes back pain.
POOR APPETITE OR UNEXPLAINED WEIGHT LOSS
Individuals sick with pancreatic cancer usually experience unexplained or unintended loss of weight, and they also have little no appetite at all.
NAUSEA AND VOMITING
If cancer presses on the far end of the stomach it can partly block it, making it hard for food to get through. This can cause nausea, vomiting, and pain that tend to be worse after eating.
BROADENING OF THE GALL BLADDER OR LIVER
When cancer gets in the way of the bile duct, the bile builds up inside gallbladder making it large. This can at times be felt by a physician as a huge lump beneath the rib cage on the right side when being examined or during imaging tests.
HISTORY OF DIABETES
Quite rarely does pancreatic cancer lead to diabetes or high blood sugar levels since the cancers have a habit of destroying the cells that make insulin? Symptoms may include thirst and hunger, the urge to urinate often. Cancer can cause slight changes in the blood sugar levels that cannot provoke any symptoms of diabetes but can, however, be detected through blood tests.
HISTORY OF BLOOD CLOTS
Although not all blood clots are as a result of pancreatic cancer, the blood clot in the large vein of legs is an indication that one has pancreatic cancer. However, the condition is also referred to as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). When a piece of the clot breaks off and move to the lungs, it could cause chest pain or make it hard to breathe. When blood clots in the lungs, it is known as pulmonary embolism (PE).
ABNORMALITIES IN THE FATTY TISSUE
People with pancreatic cancer experience irregular fatty tissue texture beneath the skin because of pancreatic enzymes released to digest fat.
Other symptoms of pancreatic cancer are:
- Burning feeling in the stomach and other intestinal distresses
- Stomach bloating
- Floating stools (bad odor, unusual color) – when the body does not digest fats properly
- The statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and represent the opinions of the authors. The authors are not medical doctors and do not engage directly or indirectly in diagnosing disease, dispensing medical advice, or prescribing the use of any products or services as treatment for sickness or disease. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified medical professional.