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Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer

Due to vague and invisible symptoms, exocrine pancreatic cancer is not easily diagnosed. It happens because pancreatic cancer is microscopic in size and therefore shows signs of mild nature. People generally do not notice them considering them to be a minor problem.

The tumor is generally diagnosed when the tumor is viable and large enough. Depending on the area and function of the pancreas the tumor affects, some of the early warning signs of pancreatic cancer include:

  • Jaundice – When the tumor starts blocking the bile duct from which bile juice goes into the intestine, the fluid begins mixing with blood. This condition can turn your skin and eyes appear yellow and is known as jaundice.
  • Abdominal pain – You may also feel irregular and mild pain in the upper section of the abdomen, which sometimes shifts to the back section as well.
  • Back pain – You may just feel pain in the back and not in the gut.
  • Bloating – Another symptom is the feeling of fullness after consuming a small meal or uncomfortable bloating of the stomach after the meal.
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

When pancreatic cancer reaches the head of the pancreas, it becomes visible. The above symptoms of pancreatic cancer are noticeable but ignored by the person because they are common with the symptoms of minor diseases. But you should have regular check-ups so that severe problems which are not recognisable can be identified easily.

Symptoms in Other Parts of the Body

Pancreatic cancer shows some other body symptoms also. These systems are more visible as pancreatic cancer.

  • Loss of body weight and fluctuations in weight
  • Malaise
  • Loss of appetite
  • High blood sugar level – If the tumor disables the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, you may experience diabetes or elevation in blood sugar levels.

Symptoms of Rare Pancreatic Cancers or Endocrine Cancers

Endocrine cancers or islet cell tumors have some symptoms which are common to the symptoms of Endocrine Cancers like –

  • Loss of body weight
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

However, there are other symptoms which differentiate them from common cancer. These result from the disruption of the function of cells. They include –

  • Insulinomas – When the insulin occurs at the excessive level in our body, insulinomas occurs. The symptoms of insulinomas are sweating, anxiety, light-headedness, and fainting from low blood sugar.
  • Glucagonomas – Glucagonoma is the condition that occurs due to the presence of an excess amount of glucagon in the body. Glucagonoma symptoms like diarrhea, excessive thirst or urination, loss of weight.
  • Gastrinomas – Gastrinomas occurs due to the occurrence of an excessive amount of gastrin. The symptoms of gastrinomas symptoms include abdominal pain, stomach ulcers that can bleed, reflux, loss of weight.
  • Somatostatinomas – Somatostatin regulates the secretion of insulin and glucagon in our body. Excessive somatostatinomas can cause diarrhea, loss of weight, pain in the abdomen, foul-smelling fatty stools.
  • VIPomas – the excessive presence of the vasoactive intestinal peptide in your body may be caused due to endocrine cancer. The symptoms include watery diarrhea, abdominal cramping, facial flushing.

Early Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer

The symptoms of pancreatic cancer are very rarely viable. Very infrequently, pancreatic cancer patients are able to feel the above symptoms and can relate them to pancreatic cancer. Whenever you think of such problems, you should always be proactive in visiting the doctor. Pancreatic cancer is quite expensive in terms of treatment and can be very painful, so before it’s too late, you should visit the doctor and get yourself diagnosed.

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