What were your symptoms when you were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer?
Pancreatic cancer often shows no symptoms until the later stages. For this reason, it can be difficult to manage.
Tumors of the pancreas cancers are usually too small to cause symptoms, and later symptoms are often non-specific.
However, when cancer grows, there may be:
- pain in the upper abdomen as the tumor pushes against nerves
- jaundice, when problems with the bile duct and liver lead to a painless yellowing of the skin and eyes and darkening of the urine.
- loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting
- significant weight loss and weakness
- pale or grey fatty stool
Other possible signs and symptoms include:
- Trousseau’s sign, when spontaneous blood clots form in the portal blood vessels, deep veins of the arms and legs, or other superficial veins
- clinical depression, which people sometimes report before a diagnosis
Islet cell or neuroendocrine cancers of the pancreas may cause the pancreas to produce too much insulin or hormones.
The person may experience:
- weakness or dizziness
- muscle spasms
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