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What are the possible signs of pancreatic cancer?

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Quick Answer

Possible signs of pancreatic cancer are dark urine and light stools, unexplained weight loss, jaundice and nausea and vomiting, according to WebMD. Other symptoms are pain in the back and abdomen, and swollen lymph glands in the neck. Pancreatic cancers affect the entire body as they grow.

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Full Answer

Some patients may feel overly full after meals or may lose their appetite, claims WebMD. They may also feel a general malaise or develop diabetes as the pancreas becomes more and more impaired. Unfortunately, these symptoms often manifest after the cancer is advanced, as the signs and symptoms of early stage pancreatic cancer are often silent.

Some types of pancreatic cancers attack the islet cells, which make hormones such as insulin, says WebMD. In those cases, symptoms can also include hypoglycemia, which can sometimes lead to fainting and anxiety, diarrhea, great thirst and frequent urination, stomach ulcers that won't heal, and stools that are fatty and foul smelling.

If early symptoms are present, they might include the patient going off foods, beverages and other tastes that they once enjoyed, great weakness, loss of appetite and attacks of pancreatitis, claims WebMD. Another early sign of cancer is blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis, says the American Cancer Society.

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