The common symptoms of pancreatic cancer include blood clots, weight loss, loss of appetite, depression, upper abdominal pain and jaundice and, at an early stage, the condition usually grows undetected, as stated by America Cancer Society. The symptoms begin to show when the cancer has grown and developed thus making is difficult to treat. Other diseases may have the same symptoms, so it's vital to visit a doctor to confirm if a person has pancreatic cancer.
The symptoms of pancreatic cancer may also appear depending on the location of cancer in the pancreas, as stated by WebMD. Cancer that affects the head of the pancreas tends to show signs, such as enlarged lymph nodes, back pain, jaundice, dark urine, vomiting, abdominal pain, itching and light stool color. When the cancer affects the tail or the body of the pancreas, one may experience weight loss and back pain.
A person experiences jaundice because pancreatic cancer blocks the duct that discharges bile into the intestine. This causes contents of bile to accumulate in the blood thus turning the skin yellow. This also is the cause of dark urine. Researchers have stated that it is difficult to use early symptoms to detect pancreatic cancer during its initial stage, as stated by WebMD.
Pancreatic cancer produces whole-body symptoms as the cancer progresses, according to WebMD. Patients may experience malaise, weight loss and a loss of appetite as the stomach swells and feels bloated. People with pancreatic cancer may also develop diabetes and experience elevated blood sugars as the tumor interferes with the pancreas' ability to function and produce insulin. People with pancreatic cancer can also produce excess insulin, which causes lightheadedness, fainting, sweating and anxiety as well as excessive thirst or urination.