Symptoms of pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer may not cause any signs or symptoms in its early stages. Signs and symptoms often appear as the tumour grows and causes changes in the body. Other health conditions can cause the same symptoms as pancreatic cancer.
See your doctor if you have these signs or symptoms:
- yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes (called jaundice)
- pain in the upper abdomen or upper back
- fatty stools (called steatorrhea) that are light coloured, bulky and float in the toilet
- unexplained weight loss
- loss of appetite
- nausea and vomiting
- feeling full after a small meal
- diarrhea or constipation
- dark urine
- fever and shivering
- swelling of the legs
A condition in which the skin and whites of the eyes become yellow and urine is dark yellow.
Jaundice may be caused by high levels of bilirubin (a substance formed when red blood cells break down) in the blood. It can also result from liver problems or a blocked bile duct.
I was in total shock when I heard the diagnosis of cancer. Cancer to me was an adult’s disease. Being a 13-year-old teenager, it certainly wasn’t even on my radar.
Great progress has been made
Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.