In the early stages, pancreatic cancer usually does not show any symptoms or signs. This makes it hard to diagnose the condition for by the time they manifest, the condition is already at an advanced stage. It is important to note that having one or more of these listed early warning symptoms of pancreatic cancer does not imply that you have cancer. A lot of times, these are caused by any other benign condition.
Early warning symptoms of pancreatic cancer
In pancreatic cancer, the duct responsible for the bile’s release into the intestine is blocked. As a result, the eyes and the skin turn yellow, which is a condition known as jaundice. Because of the blockage, you might also experience light-colored stools, dark urine, and itching. Dark urine is often the first sign of jaundice. It so happens because of the increase in the bilirubin levels in the blood. Bilirubin build-up also makes the skin itchy and appear pale yellow.
- Greasy or light-colored stools
Bilirubin gives the stool a brown color. As pancreatic cancer leads to the bile’s blocking, the stools turn gray or are light-colored. Further, if the pancreatic enzymes and biles do not pass the intestines for fat breakdown, the stools become greasy and tend to float in the toilet.
- Abdomen pain
Belly pain or back pain is also one of the early warning symptoms of pancreatic cancer. Usually, the cancers, which begin in the pancreas’ head or tail, tend to press against the nearby organs on either end, resulting in severe pain. This cancer may even spread to the nerves that surround the pancreas. Consequently, it results in back pain. Back pain is a common health issue and is almost a part of our routine life. However, in the case of cancer back or abdomen pain is sharp and does not go away even after a proper rest. Also, it will be more frequent.
Pancreatic cancer often leads to digestive issues, which can result in bloating and gas. It can also result in ascites, which is the extra-fluid build-up in the abdomen. Ascites leads to stretching out and the swelling of the belly.
- Vomiting and nausea
When cancer reaches the stomach’s far end, it tends to block part of the organ. This makes it hard for the food to get through, thereby resulting in vomiting, nausea, and pain, which only worsens when you eat.
- Drastic weight loss
The disease may also lead to loss of appetite and unintentional weight loss. These are some vital signs of pancreatic cancer that you should not ignore.
- Liver or gallbladder enlargement
When pancreatic cancer restricts the bile duct, bile tends to build up in the gallbladder. As a result of which, it increases in size. At times, cancer can also lead to liver enlargement.