Cancer Symptoms

Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

What are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer symptoms often can be very non-specific, which is why pancreatic cancer is commonly not diagnosed until it has progressed to an advanced stage. Pancreatic cancer symptoms often do not appear until the tumor grows large enough to interfere with the function of the stomach, liver, or other nearby organs.

Following are potential pancreatic cancer symptoms :

  • Jaundice, which causes yellowing of the skin, is a common pancreatic cancer symptom at the time of diagnosis and may be associated with less-advanced disease. Hepatitis and gallstones, however, can also obstruct the common bile duct and are much more common causes of jaundice. So called painless jaundice is a classic complaint of patients who are subsequently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
  • The patient may experience pain in the abdomen and back. Sometimes, excess insulin produced by the pancreas cause symptoms as dizziness, weakness, diarrhea, chills, or muscle spasms. Other pancreatic cancer symptoms include weight loss, fatigue, discomfort in the abdomen, loss of appetite, and glucose intolerance.
  • Nausea, loss of appetite, unintended weight loss, pain in the upper or middle abdomen, and jaundice may be caused by other problems that are far less serious than pancreatic cancer. The appearance of any of these signs, however, warrants a medical examination.
  • Other pancreatic cancer symptoms may include pain, weight loss and wasting, fatigue, and depression. The pain of pancreatic cancer may be constant or intermittent, and can be caused by the spread of tumors to the network of nerves surrounding the pancreas.
  • Weight loss can result when cancer interferes with the basic food-processing functions of the pancreas. Patients may have problems digesting fatty foods in particular. Exocrine cancers can sometimes cause problems with sugar metabolism that can be recognized by blood tests, and in rare cases can be a cause of diabetes.
  • An odd pancreatic cancer symptom can be that it sometimes causes people to itch all over their bodies. The reasons of such itching may not be known.
  • Fatigue and depression are common symptoms for patients with pancreatic cancer.

Many of these pancreatic cancer symptoms are the result of a less serious ailment. However, only a doctor can accurately diagnosis whether or not your pancreatic cancer symptoms are the result of cancer. Many of these pancreatic cancer symptoms are the result of a less serious ailment. However, only a doctor can accurately diagnosis whether or not your pancreatic cancer symptoms are the result of cancer.

pancreatic cancer symptoms : pancreas anatomy

Summary of pancreatic cancer symptoms :

  • Pain (sometimes severe pain in the upper abdomen that can penetrate to the back).
  • Jaundice (a yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, often with general itchiness).
  • Nausea, loss of appetite.
  • Weight loss.
  • Pain in the upper or middle abdomen.
  • Itching.
  • Dizziness, weakness, diarrhea, chills, or muscle spasms.
  • Fatigue, and depression.

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