Common Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer

Nobody wants to suspect that they have pancreatic cancer. And the reasons should be obvious. With an official pancreatic cancer diagnosis, a person is basically given a death sentence since the prognosis of the disease is not very good. Yet, if a person is experiencing the common symptoms of pancreatic cancer, they should still get tested for the disease.

By knowing for sure whether or not they are suffering with it, they can get the treatment they need that will:

1) relieve some of the symptoms

2) give them some chance that they can live longer. But in order to get checked out they will need to know what the common symptoms of pancreatic cancer are. They are provided in greater detail below.

Stomach Pain that May Spread to Other Areas

Abdominal pain is one of the most common symptoms of pancreatic cancer. It occurs because the tumors press up against the organs and nerves in your abdominal cavity. Yet, despite this sometimes the pain will spread to other areas of your body as it travels through nerve pathways in the abdominal region. The middle and upper back is an example. As far as how often the pain occurs, it can be chronic or once in a while. So, don’t necessarily expect that in order to have pancreatic cancer, you must be in pain all the time.

Appetite Changes

As the pancreatic tumors take over your abdominal region, they will deprive healthy cells of vital nutrients. They may also suppress the stomach slightly. As a result you may experience changes in appetite. This could lead to weight loss, since a loss of appetite would naturally mean you’re not eating as much. Unfortunately, many people may not suspect weight loss as one of the common symptoms of pancreatic cancer, especially if they are actually trying to lose weight. But if they experience any of the other symptoms described in this article, it definitely could be due to that disease.

Severe Itching

Of the common symptoms of pancreatic cancer, severe itching is one of the most unusual. It is caused by excessive bile accumulating in the skin.


When it comes to the common symptoms of pancreatic cancer, jaundice is one of the most signature. This occurs due the body’s inability to dispose of bilirubin, which is a byproduct produced by worn-out blood cells. When the body functions normally, bilirubin is disposed of in bile. However, when a person has pancreatic cancer, bile flow gets blocked by the tumors. This results in yellowing of the skin, which is characteristic of jaundice.

Digestive Troubles

When a person has pancreatic cancer, enzymes that would normally be produced by the pancreas get halted. This is a problem since these enzymes help ensure a healthier digestion. As a result a pancreatic cancer sufferer may encounter digestive problems, especially if the foods they are consuming are high in fat. Such difficulties will also lead to additional unexplained weight loss as well as malnutrition.


More advanced stages of pancreatic cancer may result in blockage of the digestive tract which could result in nausea.