What were your symptoms when you were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer?
I have never had pancreatic cancer, but I can give you some information.
Pancreatic cancer does not usually produce very noticeable symptoms until it has spread, and has become not likely to be treatable. So if you are concerned, you should try to prevent getting it in the first place. The largest cause is smoking. It is likely that secondhand smoke also is a cause. Being overweight and being exposed to dry cleaning chemicals are also causes. Eating beans and died fruit reduce the risk.
Signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer often don’t occur until the disease is advanced. They may include:
- Pain in the upper abdomen that radiates to your back
- Loss of appetite or unintended weight loss
- New-onset diabetes
- Blood clots
- Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice)
Jaundice is yellowing of the eyes and skin. Most people with pancreatic cancer will have jaundice as one of their first symptoms.
Sometimes, the first sign of jaundice is darker urine. As bilirubin levels in the blood increase, the urine becomes brown in color.
Light-colored or greasy stools: Bilirubin normally helps give stools their brown color. If the bile duct is blocked, stools might be light-colored or gray. Also, if bile and pancreatic enzymes can’t get through to the intestines to help break down fats, the stools can become greasy and might float in the toilet.
Itchy skin: When bilirubin builds up in the skin, it can start to itch as well as turn yellow.
Belly or back pain, weight loss, and poor appetite, nausea, and vomiting
- Jaundice. As pancreatic cancer blocks duct that releases bile into the intestine (common bile duct), the ingredients of bile build up in the blood. This turns the skin and the eyes yellow, a condition called jaundice. The same blockage causes dark urine, light colored stools, and itching.
- Abdominal pain. Pancreatic cancer can cause a dull ache in the upper abdomen radiating to the back. The pain may come and go.
- Back pain.
- Bloating. Some people with pancreatic cancer have a sense of early fullness with meals (satiety) or an uncomfortable swelling in the abdomen.
In general, symptoms appear earlier from cancers in the head of the pancreas, compared to those in the body and tail. Keep in mind that having any or all of these symptoms doesn’t mean a person has pancreatic cancer. There are many other causes for these types of symptoms.