Pancreatic cancer is the presence of malignant cells in the pancreas. This organ is located behind the stomach. Pancreatic cancer signs do not appear in the early stages of the disease. Therefore, for people with a family history of the disease or those who have cysts in the pancreas, it may be helpful to get screening tests for a timely diagnosis.
The exact cause of pancreatic cancer is not known. Some risk factors include aging and smoking.
Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms
In the advanced stages of pancreatic cancer, signs and symptoms of the disease are easily recognizable.
â One of the main pancreatic cancer symptoms is jaundice. The patient’s skin may begin to turn yellow and the color of the urine can darken. Jaundice can occur if the tumor obstructs the bile duct causing an accumulation of bile inside the liver.
â Severe or frequent ache in the abdomen can be a pancreatic cancer sign. The pain can begin in the upper part of the abdomen and spread to the back. This must be pain that is new-onset. This type of pain occurs due to the pressure of the tumor on the spine or the abdomen.
â Unexplained weight loss is another classic pancreatic cancer sign.
â New-onset diabetes can be a pancreatic cancer symptom. Pancreas produces insulin and a deficiency of this hormone causes diabetes. In the early stages of pancreatic cancer, diabetes often occurs.
â Fatigue is a common symptom of most types of cancers including tumors in the pancreas.
â Clots in the blood can form due to cancer in the pancreas.
â Vomiting, nausea or indigestion can also occur as a result of pancreatic cancer.
â Fatty and foul-smelling stools can result due to pancreatic cancer. The tumor can lead to indigestion and bowel disturbances, which can cause stools to become fatty.
â Appetite loss can occur due to other pancreatic cancer symptoms like indigestion and bowel troubles.
â Pain due to eating or back pain, which doesn’t radiate from abdomen pain, are also possible.
Pancreatic cancer symptoms are quite common. These could indicate a less serious problem.
â But if one or more of the signs occur frequently or the pain is persistent, it can be a good idea to see a doctor. If one or more risk factors of the disease are present, keeping a record of different pancreatic cancer signs can help with early diagnosis of the disease. The doctor may advise you to keep a diary of symptoms with systematic record of frequency and severity factors of each.
â Depending on a person’s symptoms, the doctor may confirm a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer through tests like CT scans, MRI, PET scans or endoscopic ultrasound. Along with these tests, the doctor may also perform a biopsy of the pancreatic tissue.
â Depending on the stage of the cancer and the health of the patient, the doctor may then devise a treatment plan. These can include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy or chemotherapy.