Pancreatic Cancer - Symptoms

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What were the symptoms associated with pancreatic cancer in you, a friend, or relative?

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What are the symptoms and signs of pancreatic cancer?

Because the pancreas lies deep in the belly in front of the spine, pancreatic cancer often grows silently for months before it is discovered. Early symptoms can be absent or quite subtle. More easily identifiable symptoms develop once the tumor grows large enough to press on other nearby structures such as nerves (which causes pain), the intestines (which affects appetite and causes nausea along with weight loss), or the bile ducts (which causes jaundice or a yellowing of the skin and can cause loss of appetite and itching). Symptoms in women rarely differ from those in men. Once the tumor sheds cancer cells into the blood and lymph systems and metastasizes, different symptoms usually arise depending on the location of the metastasis. Frequent sites of metastasis for pancreatic cancer include the liver, the lymph nodes, and the lining of the abdomen (called the peritoneum). Unfortunately, most pancreatic cancers are found after the cancer has grown beyond the pancreas or has metastasized to other places.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: dkpx2, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 05

My wife was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. She had no symptoms other than she had an occasional side ache. She hadn't smoked in 33 years. She was a non-drinker and active walker. She went to the doctor when she had issues. She was a relatively very healthy woman other than having high cholesterol and asthma. She had no other health issues. At diagnosis, her lesions were 4 cm and in the main body of the pancreas with spots on her liver.

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Comment from: GregO, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 31

Amylase level was 5000, I had both acute and chronic pancreatitis. There was severe pain in the upper left quadrant of stomach going through to my back. I lost 30 lbs. in the first month. I also had nausea and loss of appetite.

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