What kind of back pain does pancreatic cancer cause?


Quick Answer

The type of back pain associated with pancreatic cancer is usually a dull, aching sensation. It typically occurs in the upper abdominal area and radiates to the back as the cancer progresses and tumors grow, pressing against other internal organs, according to the American Cancer Society.

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Full Answer

Pancreatic cancer is classified in different ways depending on the part of the pancreas affected. WebMD describes exocrine pancreatic cancer as that which affects the part of the pancreas that makes digestive juices, while endocrine pancreatic cancer affects the part of the pancreas that makes insulin. In either case, WebMD describes the causes of pancreatic cancer as the uncontrollable growth, division and spread of cells in the pancreas. These characteristics cause the cells to form malignant tumors.

In addition to back and abdominal pain or discomfort, the American Cancer Society describes other symptoms as jaundice, dark-colored urine, light-colored stool, loss of appetite and digestive problems. Through a medical history and physical examination, a doctor can conclusively diagnose the condition using an ultrasound, CT scan, MRI, endoscopic procedure or biopsy, according to WebMD.

Treatments vary depending on the severity and stage of the cancer. Among possible treatments are chemotherapy and drug treatment, radiation therapy, ablative care and surgery, as stated by the American Cancer Society.

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