When Should I Worry About Pancreatic Cancer?


Pancreatic cancer is a disease that is often discovered in its late stages, when it’s difficult to treat. This makes it one of the deadliest forms of cancer—survival rates are just 8 percent five years after diagnosis. Fortunately, there are several warning signs that you can watch for so that you can seek treatment as soon as possible if you think something might be wrong.

Painless jaundice

Painless jaundice is a symptom of pancreatic cancer. It occurs when bile ducts become blocked due to tumors, and it can be hard to distinguish from other causes of painless jaundice, such as hepatitis or gallstones.

Painless jaundice leads many people to visit their doctor in search of answers. There are a number of reasons why someone would have yellowing skin and eyes:

Weight loss

If you’ve noticed a change in your weight, it might be a sign of something serious.

  • Weight loss is one of the most common symptoms of pancreatic cancer and may be the first symptom you notice yourself. But weight loss can also be caused by other conditions, including diabetes and heart disease, so it’s important to talk to your doctor if you’re concerned about it.
  • The amount of weight loss that’s considered too much varies from person to person, but if you’re losing more than 5% (10 pounds) in six months or 10% (20 pounds) in 12 months—and especially if this weight loss has been accompanied by other signs—it’s worth seeing a doctor.

New onset diabetes

Diabetes is a disease of the pancreas. It’s a metabolic disorder that affects how your body uses blood sugar (glucose), and it can have serious effects on your health. Diabetes is usually divided into two types: type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease where your immune system attacks and destroys cells in the pancreas that produce insulin; and type 2 diabetes, which is caused by insulin resistance or cellular damage.

Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 10% to 15% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes among adults worldwide, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). The incidence rate has increased over recent years as more people are living longer due to advances in medicine and lifestyles changes like dieting/exercising less often than before; this means many older adults who used to be able to manage their weight well are now developing Type 2 diabetes due largely because their bodies cannot keep up with the demands placed upon them any longer without proper exercise regimens being in place throughout their lives.”

Light-colored or greasy stool

Fat malabsorption can also cause light-colored stool. When you eat fats, they’re broken down into fatty acids. Those fatty acids have to be absorbed in your small intestine, but if that absorption is slowed down or interrupted by pancreatic tumors, then you’ll have greasy and smelly stools.

While these symptoms may seem alarming at first glance, they’re actually relatively common and often not related to cancer at all. If this happens to you once in a while and/or goes away after a few days without any other symptoms (such as weight loss or abdominal pain), it’s probably nothing serious!

Dark or bloody urine

Dark or bloody urine

Blood in your urine is called hematuria. If it’s only a small amount, it may not be serious. But if you have large amounts of blood in your urine, you could have severe bladder damage and need to see a doctor right away.

Bloody stools may also be caused by pancreatic cancer, so ask your doctor about this symptom if you’ve recently had it diagnosed, especially if they found a mass during the procedure (biopsy).

Loss of appetite

Loss of appetite is not a specific symptom of pancreatic cancer. It can also be caused by many other things, including:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Lack of sleep
  • Stress


You may have never heard of nausea, but you’ve probably felt it. It’s a feeling of sickness or unease in the stomach. You might also experience vomiting, loss of appetite and stomach pain. Nausea can be caused by food poisoning, motion sickness and pregnancy.

If you notice that you are experiencing any of these symptoms for more than a few hours at a time (or if they come on suddenly), it could mean there is something wrong with your health. If someone you know experiences these symptoms for an extended period of time—or if they come on suddenly—it could mean there’s something seriously wrong with their health too!


If you vomit, it’s important to see a doctor. That’s because vomiting is often a symptom of pancreatic cancer, but it can also be caused by other conditions like the flu or food poisoning. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to feel better if you think your symptoms could be related to another condition. For example:

  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid alcohol and caffeine
  • Take ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain relief

Feeling unusually tired or weaker than normal

In general, if you are feeling unusually tired or weaker than usual, it’s important to see your doctor. A number of conditions can cause similar symptoms and it’s best not to delay in seeing a health professional if you have any concerns about them.

You should also visit the doctor if your symptoms persist for several weeks as this may indicate something more serious such as cancer or other chronic conditions.

If you have this symptoms, see a doctor.

If you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor. You should see a doctor if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Bleeding from the pancreas or upper digestive tract
  • Abdominal pain that does not go away after two weeks
  • Pain in your abdomen for more than three months that is different from your normal bowel habits


Pancreatic cancer is a serious illness that can be fatal if it is not detected and treated at an early stage. If you have any of the symptoms listed above, you should see your doctor immediately.

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