Can Problems With Your Pancreas Be a Sign of Cancer?


Quick Answer

Depending on the location of the cancer, there are some signs that can indicate a problem with the pancreas that include weight loss, abdominal pain, back ache, jaundice, an enlarged gallbladder and digestive problems, states WebMD. However, these symptoms do not present in the early stages of pancreatic cancer. Most symptoms are evident when the cancer has spread.

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Full Answer

Adenocarcinoma type cancer is the most common form associated with pancreatic cancer. Symptoms of pancreatic cancer that involve adenocarcinoma can grow either in the body or head of the pancreas can cause abdominal pain, back ache and the person may lose weight. However, cancer that is situates at the pancreas' head can also cause jaundice and inflamed lymph nodes in the neck, according to WebMD. When the cancer has spread beyond the pancreas, there can be gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, vomiting and bloating. If the other body areas are involved, pancreatic cancer can lead to blood clots in the legs, states the American Cancer Society.

The more rare form of cancer that affects the pancreas involves islet cell tumors that also secrete hormones. Another name for these tumor types are neuroendocrine tumors. Besides the symptoms associated with adenocarcinoma type cancer, islet cell tumors can also present other symptoms like sweating, low blood sugar and ulcers, reports WebMD.

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