Pancreatic cancer is rarely diagnosed during its first stages when it is easy to cure. This is because symptoms usually don’t appear until the disease has advanced and even spread to neighboring organs and tissues. Early diagnosis is, therefore, vital in increasing the likelihood of beating the disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer
Early symptoms of pancreatic cancer are benign, so it might not hit right away that the patient has the disease. Here are some of the most common symptoms of pancreatic cancer.
Abdominal Pain that Radiates to the Back
The pancreas lies in the upper abdomen. The patient might experience upper abdominal pain, which radiates to the back.
Jaundice is another symptom of pancreatic cancer. It is the yellowing of the eyes and skin tone. The symptom results from having excess bilirubin in the bloodstream. The signs might elevate, and the patient might notice darker urine, itchy skin, and light-colored stool.
Changes in Stool
Pancreatic cancer might affect the digestive system. As a result, stool might be large, light-colored, and foul. Sometimes, the poop might be greasy because the digestive system isn’t breaking down fat properly. Patients with any of these symptoms should have their stool tested to discover the underlying problem.
Cancer cells cause the body to consume a lot of energy. Also, the digestive system may be impaired because the pancreas isn’t releasing a lot of digestive juices. The patient might also lose their appetite, which will contribute to weight loss.
Additional symptoms of pancreatic cancer include:
- New on-set diabetes
- Unexplained fatigue
- Bowel obstruction
- Loss of appetite
Causes and Prevention of Pancreatic Cancer
Obesity, smoking, and family history are some of the major causes of the disease. So, quit smoking and strive to maintain a healthy diet and weight. If anyone in your family was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, visit a genetic counselor to analyze your risk of getting the disease.