Are Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms Easy to Spot?

Pancreatic cancer symptoms are difficult to spot in early stages, according to WebMD. Most patients don't experience symptoms until the cancer is outside the pancreas when it is difficult to treat. However, researchers found some symptoms that can occur in a small number of patients in the early stages of pancreatic cancer.

These rare, early symptoms include sudden disgusts for certain foods or beverages up to six months before pancreatic cancer symptoms begins, reports WebMD. Patients who smoked or drank wine or coffee suddenly couldn't stand the taste. About 1 percent of the patients had a previous pancreatitis attack six months before the onset of symptoms.

The most common of the rare early symptoms seemed to be a feeling of being full early while eating and significant weakness, states WebMD. These symptoms occurred in about 4 percent of the study patients six months before diagnosis.

Patients often recognized symptoms of later stages of pancreatic cancer, explains WebMD. Symptoms frequently depend on the where the cancer is located. For example, if the cancer is in the tail of the pancreas, the patient experiences stomach and back pain as well as weight loss, while patients with cancer in the head of the pancreas may experience jaundice, itching, nausea and enlarged lymph nodes.