Pancreatic cancer symptoms and risk factors
Pancreatic cancer can be difficult to detect due to the location of the pancreas. Symptoms are often vague and can be similar to other medical conditions.
It is important to be aware of the symptoms and risk factors of pancreatic cancer. See your GP if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, especially if it is unusual for you or persistent.
It is best to see your doctor for review and investigation if you experience unexplained symptoms that worry you. They will ask you questions to help understand whether the cause of symptoms are pancreatic cancer or another condition.
What are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer?
Possible symptoms may include:
- jaundice – yellowing of the skin and eyes
- dark urine
- pale, smelly and floating stools
- loss of appetite
- nausea and vomiting after meals
- gradually worsening upper abdominal or back pain
- unexplained weight loss
- worsening itching of the skin
- new onset diabetes
These symptoms can be experienced with pancreatic cancer. You should see your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.
However, it is important to remember that these symptoms can also occur in people who do not have pancreatic cancer; they may also be caused by other conditions.
Pancreatic cancer risk factors
A cancer risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of developing cancer. Although risk factors often influence the development of cancer, most do not directly cause cancer. Some people with several risk factors never develop cancer, while others with no known risk factors do. Knowing your risk factors and talking about them with your doctor may help you make more informed lifestyle and health care choices.
Some known risk factors for developing pancreatic cancer include:
- family history of pancreatic cancer.
> How pancreatic cancer is diagnosed