Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms – Know the symptoms, know the signs
A key to diagnosing and treating cancer of the pancreas is to seek and recognize pancreatic cancer symptoms.
Perhaps the most troubling fact about pancreatic cancer symptoms is that—initially at least—the disease presents few symptoms or warning signs. By the time the patient experiences notable symptoms, the cancer likely has grown outside the realm of the pancreas.
When symptoms do appear, their nature and character will depend largely on the location of the cancer within the pancreas.
When the disease exists in the head of the pancreas, pancreatic cancer symptoms tend to include jaundiced skin (characterized by a yellowish appearance), fatty stools, weight loss, and abdominal pain. If present in the tail of the pancreas, the patient likely will experience stomach pain (sometimes dull at first) and weight loss.
Regardless of the cancer’s location, pancreatic cancer symptoms tend to make the patient sick to one’s stomach—literally and in a variety of unpleasant ways. Those stricken with pancreatic cancer tend to experience abdominal pain, uncomfortable stomach swelling as well as bloating, nausea and diarrhea, fatty stools (odd-smelling stools that float heavily, more so than other stools), pale- or clay-colored stools, darker hued urine, etc. Back pain is another frequent symptom of this devastating disease.
As the disease progresses, additional pancreatic cancer symptoms could include loss of appetite, weight loss, high blood sugar, as well as malaise and body itching.
Of course, any or all of these signs could be indicative of other conditions. So if a person happens to experience any individual symptom listed here or a combination thereof, he/she should not panic or—even worse—delay a visit to one’s primary care physician. By seeing a doctor immediately, an individual suffering from any of these pancreatic cancer symptoms might find out that they don’t have the disease at all, but another condition that may be temporary and/or highly treatable.
And if, heaven forbid, the diagnosis is indeed pancreatic cancer, then the patient will be armed with the information needed to fight or at least cope with this terrible disease. True, current pancreatic cancer life expectancies are not high; but the earlier one catches any form of cancer and the more aggressively he/she treats it, the longer that he/she is likely to survive.
Get educated about pancreatic cancer symptoms today, for a chance at a healthier and happier tomorrow.