Just like many other types of cancers, pancreatic cancer has been dubbed as the “silent cancer”, because its early symptoms can go unnoticed for quite some time. By the time symptoms really show up strongly to get noticed as a problem, the cancer has spread from the pancreas to other parts of the body. However, by knowing the specific combination and types of symptoms that are associated with pancreatic cancer, the chances of it getting caught early enough for successful treatment gets increased.
Please note that your doctor is the best judge after all! Experiencing any or all of these symptoms does not imply you have pancreatic cancer. Get yourself checked up!
Here are some of the top signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer you MUST NEVER ignore. SHARE!
Pain in the Abdomen
More than 80% of pancreatic cancer patients report experiencing some sort of abdominal pain at some point during its progression. This pain is caused by the tumor growing on the pancreas and putting pressure on nearby organs and nerves. This pain is described as a vague, dull pain that radiates from the upper abdomen and has been noted to shift to the back. The pain may come and go and may get further aggravated when changing position.
But, just because you are experiencing this particular set of symptoms does not indicate that you may have pancreatic cancer. Consult your physician at the earliest.
Diabetes is one of the most important symptoms of advanced stage pancreatic cancer caused by delay in production of insulin as it is produced by the pancreas in one’s body. Usually the production of insulin becomes insufficient due to development of a tumor in pancreas which causes diabetes along with various other symptoms like urgent urination, fatigue, vision problems and numbness in toes, fingers, etc. Your doctor can suspect the possibility of cancer in your pancreas to due rapid and abrupt emergence of these symptoms along with strange increase in the level of diabetes. People with controlled diabetes are at a greater risk of this cancer.
People with skin issues due to blockage of bile ducts of their liver causing jaundice can also be the positive candidates for pancreatic cancer. The problem of persistently flaky, itchy and dry skin or dermatitis can be caused due to the development of tumors in pancreas. Though dermatitis can appear in a number of ways, it is usually recognized with dehydrated and dried patches of flakes on the skin which cannot be treated even by applying topical medications.
Nausea & Vomiting
Most patients with pancreatic cancer experience nausea after the bouts of vomiting with the increase in the severity of the cancer. It usually happens when the tumors in the pancreas grow large enough to block the digestive tract enough to cause discomfort and inefficiency in digesting the food. It can also cause acid reflux and heartburn, which in turn can cause burning tendency in the throat followed by vomiting. With increase in the severity of this cancer, vomiting and nausea also become worse.
Different Coloration of Stools/Urine
It is normally observed that the blockage of liver bile duct by the enlarged tumor in the pancreas can discolor the stool of the patient. It may look like clay, white, chalky or pale in color. It also changes the color of urine to a bit darker shade without any dietary reason. A change of odor of stool and urine is also noticed in most of the cases. Their stool may smell unusually and intense foul with some patches of blood whereas urine can smell very pungent. Though these symptoms are not very common in pancreatic cancer, one should not ignore them if experiencing these along with other symptoms.
Another common symptom of pancreatic cancer is yellowing of eyes and skin, i.e., jaundice. The increasing level of bilirubin in the blood stream or blockage of liver bile duct by tumor in pancreas can be the main reason of developing jaundice along with liver problems and infectious diseases. People experiencing any such symptom(s) must immediately consult doctor. Doctor can rule out the possibilities of cancer, if any.
Loss of Appetite
Another main symptom of pancreatic cancer is downfall of health condition due to loss of appetite. It can be caused not only due to stomach infections but also due to increase in the size of tumor in the pancreas. Loss of appetite should be taken seriously and reported immediately to a healthcare professional, for it can have any underlying reason, including but not limited to damaged liver, pancreatic cancer, underactive thyroid gland, hepatitis, etc.
Sudden, Unexplained Weight Loss
Though most people want to celebrate the occasion of losing their body weight but if you lose weight suddenly without any obvious reason(s), pancreatic cancer can be one of the reasons. Consider consultation of a healthcare professional instantly.
Changes in Bowel Movements
Last, but not the least, symptom of steatorrhoea develops due to blockage of pancreatic duct which causes fatty stool in most of the cases. It will increase the number and status of bowel movements including their smell and color. Persistent indigestion can also change your bowel movement routine which ultimately causes bloating, sickness and heartburn which are also commonly observed in the incident of pancreatic cancer. So, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should immediately get it checked by your doctor to clear out your doubts about pancreatic cancer.