ALTHOUGH the early stages of pancreatic cancer don’t usually trigger warning signs, symptoms can crop up as the condition progresses. There are two “common” areas that could be ringing the alarm bells when it comes to this type of cancer, according to a health organisation.
As with any cancer, early diagnosis is often linked to higher chances of battling the condition successfully. While pancreatic cancer often doesn’t show early signs, knowing what to look for could still help.
The American Cancer Society explains that symptoms usually pop up once the cancer has grown very large or already spread outside of the pancreas.
Two places where symptoms can show up are your back and your belly.
Pain in these two areas is considered to be a “common” sign of pancreatic cancer.
The health organisation explains: “Cancers that start in the body or tail of the pancreas can grow fairly large and start to press on other nearby organs, causing pain.
Pancreatic cancer symptoms: Pain commonly shows up in your back and belly.
“The cancer may also spread to the nerves surrounding the pancreas, which often causes back pain.”
This sign is usually associated with cancer that has spread.
The NHS explains that one way to spot this cancer pain involves eating, lying down and leaning forward.
The health service shares that pancreatic cancer pain may feel worse when you have food or lay down. However, it might be eased by leaning forward.
“Pain in the abdomen or back is fairly common and is most often caused by something other than pancreatic cancer,” the American Cancer Society notes.
Symptoms often tend to be more general so they don’t necessarily mean you have pancreatic cancer.
However, it’s important to get checked if you start suffering from signs typical for this type of cancer.
Your doctor will help to determine the cause and recommend the right treatment for you.
Pain isn’t the only tell-tale sign of pancreatic cancer as other problems might crop up as well.
The NHS shares that symptoms might include:
- The whites of your eyes or your skin turn yellow (jaundice)
- Loss of appetite or losing weight without trying to
- Feeling tired or having no energy
- High temperature, or feeling hot or shivery
- Feeling or being sick
- Diarrhoea or constipation, or other changes in your stool
- Symptoms of indigestion (such as feeling bloated).
Jaundice might be also accompanied by itchy skin, darker pee and paler poo than usual.
The health service explains that you might get used to these signs but you still need to get checked.
They explain that a visit to the GP is especially crucial if your symptoms change, get worse or don’t feel normal to you.
The doctor might feel your tummy or conduct tests, including blood and pee sample.