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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer

Sometimes the cancer may not cause any symptoms for a long time, and the symptoms may be vague to begin with. The most common symptoms caused by cancer of the pancreas are described below. Some people may have only one of these symptoms.

Pain This often begins with discomfort or pain in the upper abdomen, which sometimes spreads to the back. In the beginning the pain may come and go, but later on it can be more persistent. In some people the pain is worse while lying down and it is relieved by sitting up or bending forward.

Weight loss It is common for people with pancreatic cancer to have some weight loss and loss of appetite.

Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, dark yellow urine, pale bowel motions and itchy skin These are signs of a condition called jaundice, which can be caused by different illnesses including cancer of the pancreas. Jaundice can occur if the cancer develops in the head of the pancreas, and blocks the bile duct that carries bile from the liver to the intestine. The resulting build-up of bile in the body causes the symptoms mentioned above.

Other symptoms such as indigestion, bloating after meals and feeling extremely tired, may also occur.

Remember, you can arrange to see your doctor if you are worried, but most pain in the abdomen is not caused by cancer of the pancreas.

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