How to Recognize the Signs and Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer to Avoid Late Diagnosis

Pancreatic cancer is difficult to diagnose at its early stages as it often shows few symptoms, if any. The symptoms may vary based on the location of the cancer in the pancreas, and they may also indicate other health issues. For this reason, pancreatic cancer is often discovered in advanced stages, and the patient receives late treatment.

Recognize these signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer early to get immediate treatment.


Jaundice, or the yellowing of skin or eyes, may indicate cancer in the head of the pancreas near the bile duct, but not always in other parts. Other conditions may also follow jaundice, such as dark urine, oily or yellowish feces, and itching skin.

Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain or swelling may appear as the tumors in the body or tail of the pancreas begin to grow to the point where they press against other internal organs. It’s also possible that it compromises the nerves surrounding the pancreas, causing back pain.

Unintentional Weight Loss

Cancer’s impact on the stomach can cause a reduced appetite, nausea, and vomiting, which lead to significant weight loss. The changes in metabolism also make the body burn more calories than usual. If someone regularly eats without any excess activities but still loses weight, it may be a sign of tumor-induced weight loss.

Worsened Diabetes

Pancreatic cancer can affect the body’s ability to produce insulin, leading to increased blood sugar levels and worsening diabetes symptoms. However, it’s important to consult a health professional to get an accurate diagnosis since other factors, such as medication, lifestyle, and other medical conditions, can also worsen diabetes.

When to Visit a doctor

Consult your doctor if you have any inexplicable symptoms that concern you. Since the symptoms may result from various diseases, your doctor may perform tests to rule out these possibilities, as well as pancreatic cancer. Early diagnosis leads to better treatment.

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