The pancreas is a gland in your body that is responsible for releasing hormones and enzymes to break down food and regulate other functions of the body. It also produces insulin, which is important for keeping blood glucose normal. When pancreas cancer starts those functions become less regular and more abnormal, which can lead to many other bodily problems.
The symptoms of pancreatic cancer are difficult to notice early on, and are often not noticed until it is an aggressive cancer that has had time to spread. Pancreatic cancer is a cancer of the pancreas and like all other cancers, has the ability to grow and attack other parts of the body. Pancreatic cancer symptoms are often very vague, and have no specific identifying problems. For example, stomach pains can occur if you have pancreatic cancer, but many other health concerns also involve stomach pains.
Jaundice is one of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer and causes yellowing of the eyes and skin. This is due to excess bilibruin, which is caused by improper bile flow. Tumors can block the bile ducts and cause jaundice to occur, or they can partially block the ducts. Jaundice
Abdominal pain is another vague symptom, but one nonetheless. These pains are harder to identify because a number of things can cause abdominal pains. However, these will occur in the upper abdomen and may also be felt in the back. They present themselves a few hours after eating and are usually worse after laying down to rest.
Losing weight rapidly without intending to is a sign of almost all cancers, but especially a symptom of pancreatic cancer. This happens because the pancreas is no longer regulating the body’s hormones and enzymes properly. Food may me metabolized incorrectly which will lead to weight loss.
Losing your appetite suddenly and it lasting for several weeks is one of the other very vague signs of pancreatic cancer. Since the body isn’t responding correctly to food or producing the right hormones, then lack of desire to eat kicks in. Nausea and vomiting after eating or randomly is also another symptom, but requires specific testing to diagnose a cancer.
Itchy dry skin is a symptom of pancreatic cancer that isn’t always noticeable as anything specific. If you are an individual that is also experiencing the above symptoms, then you may have pancreatic cancer. This requires testing and immediate care because it could definitely be more serious. Many dermatologists will mark it off as a skin condition due to weather or hereditary problems. Be sure to talk to a physician and demand testing if you feel that you may have something else wrong.
Sudden diabetes is another sign of pancreatic cancer. If your doctor notices that you “suddenly” have diabetes then he or she may prescribe additional testing or screening.
Changes in your stool or urine may be noted if you have pancreatic cancer. Of course this could also be a sign of something else, but should still be checked and monitored. Since the pancreatic system works with the bile and waste elimination system in your body, this is an especially important symptom to look out for. If you feel that you may be experiencing this, then see your doctor immediately with your concerns. If these symptoms listed do not indicate that you have pancreatic cancer, then they may mean something else. Either way medical attention is the best way to go.
Since pancreatic cancer is rare, the symptoms of pancreatic cancer may just signify that you have a completely different medical condition. If you have a family history of this cancer though, yearly screening is the best tool for prevention.