Symptoms of pancreatic cancer


Pancreatic cancer is a form of cancer that starts in the pancreas. The pancreas is an organ in the abdominal cavity that aids in digestion and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.

The symptoms of pancreatic cancer usually go unnoticed in the early stages and only become apparent after the disease has spread to the nearby organs. Let’s take a look at the symptoms of pancreatic cancer that require immediate medical attention.

Pain in the abdomen and lower back
Pain in the abdomen and lower back are common symptoms of pancreatic cancer. This form of cancer puts pressure on nerves as it grows and spreads to the nearby organs. Yet pain in the lower back can occur due to other reasons like bad posture as well. So, in case one faces regular abdominal pain, it is advisable to consult a doctor at the earliest for an accurate diagnosis.

Onset of jaundice
Most patients of pancreatic cancer develop jaundice. Jaundice is caused by a buildup of bilirubin, which is a yellow-orange substance produced in the liver. It leads to the yellowing of the eyes and skin.

Sensation of nausea
When pancreatic cancer spreads to the stomach, it can put pressure on the stomach walls and prevent food from passing through smoothly. This pressure on the stomach can cause a patient to experience nausea or even vomit immediately after eating.

Weight loss
The inability of food to pass through the stomach smoothly can lead to weight loss. Pain in the abdomen is often marked by an accompanying lack of appetite which may also contribute to the loss of weight.

Pancreatic cancer often affects the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin and manage blood sugar levels. This can lead to the onset of diabetes. Diabetes is marked by its own set of symptoms that include excessive thirst and hunger pangs, frequent urination, blurry vision, sudden weight loss, numbness of the feet, and discoloration of the skin.

Swelling of the liver or gallbladder
Pancreatic cancer can block the bile duct and lead to a swelling in the gallbladder. An enlarged gallbladder can be detected via a physical exam. Additionally, pancreatic cancer may spread to the liver and lead to an enlarged liver. An enlarged liver can be detected through a physical exam or imaging tests.