Symptoms of pancreatic cancer warning – including yellow eyes, dark urine and sore back

Pancreatic cancer is known as the “silent killer” so deadly because it causes few symptoms until the disease is advanced.

During the early stages of the disease, symptoms of pancreatic cancer may be inaccurate and only appear with the cancer growing, according to Cancer Research UK.

Pancreatic cancer is deadly and can be very difficult to treat, with only about one in four people surviving a year or more after diagnosis.

It comes after a dad whose skin turned yellow received the heartbreaking news that he was suffering from the “silent killer” just days before it became inoperable.

Shaun Walshde Huyton, 48, began suffering from nausea, weight loss and lack of energy before he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer include jaundice

Recent research has found that patients are diagnosed with cancer in A&E – sometimes after repeated trips to their doctor – in the UK than in any other high-income country in the world.

The study by the International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP), working with Cancer Research UK, found that people who graduated from A&E are less likely to experience their disease, especially if they have a stomach, intestine, liver, pancreas, lung or ovary. cancer. .

In the case of pancreatic cancer, 46% of people were diagnosed in crisis overall, but the figure was much higher, at 56%, in England and Wales, and was 59% in Scotland.

Here are the symptoms and signs of pancreatic cancer that everyone should be aware of …

Common symptoms of pancreatic cancer

According to Cancer Research UKthe symptoms vary depending on where the cancer is in the pancreas (in the head, body or tail of the pancreas).

Pain in the stomach area or back

The pain often starts in the stomach and can spread to the back

Nearly 7 out of 10 people with pancreatic cancer go to their doctors because they have pain, according to Cancer Research UK.

The pain often starts in the stomach and can spread to the back, and people often describe it as “dull”.

The pain is worse when you lie down and is better if you sit forward. It can be worse after meals.

Some people may just have back pain. This is often felt in the middle of the back, and is persistent.


Jaundice is yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes

Many people with pancreatic cancer have jaundice when they first go to their doctors.

Jaundice is yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes. The urine (urine) is darker than normal and feces (feces or intestine) may be lighter in color.

Hepatitis is more common with cancer of the head of the pancreas because the tumor blocks the gallbladder. This tube carries bile in the small intestine (duodenum). If it is blocked, the bile ends up in your bloodstream. You pass it in your urine (making it look dark) rather than through the gut (so your stools look lighter).

Bile contains a lot of yellow pigments so it yellows the skin. This may be less noticeable on black or brown skin. It is often easier to see in the whites of the eyes than in the skin.

Hepatitis is a common symptom of many liver and gallbladder diseases.

Weight loss

People diagnosed with pancreatic cancer may have recently lost a lot of weight for no apparent reason.

Unusual symptoms of pancreatic cancer

According to Cancer Research UK, other signs or symptoms may occur before the cancer is diagnosed or may occur later. Not everyone has every symptom.


Some people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer are found to be newly diabetic.

If you have diabetes, you are not producing enough insulin, so there is too much sugar in your blood. The sugar comes out of the body in the urine and takes some water with it.

This causes:

  • thirst
  • passing a lot of urine
  • weakness
  • weight loss and hunger


You may have itching if you have bad jaundice. The increased bile salts in the bloodstream cause itching in the skin.


Feeling sick or nauseous is another symptom

You may feel or be sick because you have jaundice or an inflamed pancreas. Both of these conditions interfere with the body’s delicate chemical balance.

You could also get sick if the cancer or inflammation around it starts to prevent food from passing out of the stomach and into the first part of the intestine. Due to illness, you may experience loss of appetite, which can lead to weight loss.

Intestinal changes

If your pancreatic duct is blocked, you may develop a symptom called steatorrhea. This means fat feces (poo).

You may experience frequent, large bowel movements that are pale in color and foul-smelling, and are difficult to get rid of. These intestinal disorders can mean that you are not absorbing your food properly. This can also cause weight loss.

Fever and tremor

You may have a temperature from time to time because you have jaundice or an inflamed pancreas. When your temperature is high, you may feel cold and trembling.


Indigestion causes heartburn, swelling and disease. It is a common problem in the general population, and for most people it is not a sign of cancer.

If it persists or does not improve with medication, you should return to see your doctor.

Blood clots

Occasionally, pancreatic cancer is linked to blood clots. They can form in the deep veins in the legs for example, or in smaller veins anywhere on the body. Sometimes the clots will disappear and then develop elsewhere in the body.

See your doctor right away if you have these symptoms:

  • pain, redness and swelling around the area where the embolus is
  • the area around the embolus might feel hot to the touch

It comes as scientists may be able to detect pancreatic cancer by looking at microorganisms in stool samples, according to new research.

The study, partly funded by Worldwide Cancer Research, found that 27 microbial species in fecal samples could indicate people at high risk for the most common form of pancreatic cancer, creating hope for a new screening test.

Dr Chris MacDonald, head of research at Pancreatic Cancer UK, said: “Back pain, indigestion, weight loss, changes in feces are all common symptoms in pancreatic cancer and much less serious health conditions, and this is a key factor in why 80. Percentage of people with pancreatic cancer are currently diagnosed in an advanced stage.

“We urgently need an early detection tool capable of helping doctors diagnose thousands more people at an early symptom stage in time for life-saving therapy.”

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