It is not a surprise if many people ask this question: “What are the signs of pancreatic cancer?” After all, pancreatic cancer is known as silent cancer. Its early signs are often vague, even not recognized. This is what makes pancreatic cancer deadly. In the majority of cases, pancreatic cancer is diagnosed and found when it is already in its later stage. Meaning, it has already spread to other parts of the body which makes treatment much more difficult.
Vague and unrecognized signs don’t necessarily mean they can’t be detected. So, what are the signs of pancreatic cancer, then? Below, we have the warning signs of pancreatic cancer you should be careful of. Before you start, keep in mind that these signs may also be caused by other conditions other than pancreatic cancer. If you are concerned, bring it to attention when you consult with your doctor.
Loss of Appetite
Do you experience a sudden loss of appetite? Or maybe you feel full faster while only eating a little? If you do, be concerned. Sudden loss of appetite and feeling of fullness despite eating a little are signs of pancreatic cancer.
Sudden Weight Loss
For people who want to lose their weight, weight loss is a good news. However, if it happens suddenly and without a clear reason why it should raise your concern. Pancreatic cancer disturbs digestion, which leads to unexplained weight loss.
Do you experience a gnawing stomach pain? A gnawing stomach pain is also an early warning sign of pancreatic cancer. The characteristics of this pain are these: It radiates toward your back and will be gone if you lean forward.
Jaundice is among one of the warning signs of pancreatic cancer. If your skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, you have jaundice. Pancreatic cancer causes jaundice by blocking the bile duct of the pancreas. This condition happens to about 1 in 3 patient with pancreatic cancer.
Many patients with pancreatic cancer experience enlarged gallbladder. Enlarged gallbladder happens for the same reason why jaundice happens. That is, blockage of the bile duct of the pancreas. Fortunately, enlarged gallbladder can be detected by a doctor during physical exam or imaging test.
According to a research done by Mayo Clinic, diabetes, particularly if it happens suddenly, is one of the warning signs of pancreatic cancer. The diabetes is believed to be caused by the tumors which haven’t been detected yet. The problem with this is that diabetes is common. Most cases of diabetes do not lead to pancreatic cancer, either. So, how do you know if it is related to pancreatic cancer? The answer is family history. If you have diabetes and there is no history of diabetes in your family, you should talk to your doctor about this and ask for screening.
What are the signs of pancreatic cancer? Unfortunately, there are many. These symptoms may indicate other conditions other than pancreatic cancer as well. However, if you have any of these symptoms, you may want to talk your doctor about it. Better yet, ask for screening for pancreatic cancer. Early detection of pancreatic cancer improves the likelihood of the cancer being cured.