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Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

Overview

Pancreatic cancer usually does not cause any symptoms in its early stages. By the time symptoms usually appear, the cancer has started to spread and it is more difficult to treat.

Common symptoms include:

  • weight loss
  • upper abdominal pain
  • back pain (radiating from the abdomen)
  • nausea
  • diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)
  • itching
  • dark urine
  • pale-colored stool
  • elevated blood sugar
  • low blood sugar (from islet cell cancer)

None of these symptoms necessarily means that a patient has pancreatic cancer. All of them can be caused by a wide of conditions. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor for diagnosis.

References

National Institutes of Health. 2001. “What You Need to Know About Cancers of the Pancreas.” (Online booklet)

http://nci.nih.gov/pdf/WYNTK/WYNTK_pancreas.pdf

WebMD. 2010. “Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms.” (Online)

http://www.webmd.com/cancer/pancreatic-cancer/pancreatic-cancer-symptoms

Mayo Clinic Staff. 2010. “Pancreatic Cancer: Causes.” (Online)

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pancreatic-cancer/DS00357/DSECTION=causes

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