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Doctor discussing treatment options with patient who has pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer symptoms

The symptoms of pancreatic cancer may differ depending on size of the tumor and the type of cell affected. Symptoms also may not develop until the tumor has grown, the cancer has reached an advanced stage or spread to other parts of the body.

Early warning signs of pancreatic cancer

When symptoms of a pancreatic tumor first appear, they most commonly include jaundice, or a yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes, which is caused by an excess of bilirubina dark, yellow-brown substance made by the liver. Other common symptoms of cancer of the pancreas include:

  • Dark-colored urine
  • Itchy skin
  • Digestive problems, including abnormal stools, nausea or vomiting
  • Pain in the upper abdomen, which may extend to the back
  • Nausea
  • Appetite loss
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Swollen gallbladder (usually found by a doctor during a physical exam)
  • Blood clots
  • Diabetes