Pancreatic cancer is caused by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in the pancreas and it has become the third leading cause of cancer death in the United States.
Pancreatic cancer is rarely caught at an early stage, and more than 80% of patients are diagnosed at the middle or late stage. Besides, pancreatic cancer is highly malignant and hard to treat. According to American Cancer Society, the overall 5-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is only 7%.
Three common symptoms of pancreatic cancer are given to help you detect pancreatic cancer at an early stage.
Pain in the stomach area or back
Belly or back pain is the most common symptom of pancreatic cancer and more than 70% people with pancreatic cancer go to the doctor for pain. Pancreatic cancer usually begins in the stomach area and then spread to the back, which causes stomach and back pain.
Jaundice is a prominent sign of pancreatic cancer, characterized by the yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes. The urine is darker than normal and bowel motions may be lighter in color.
Weight loss is also common in people with pancreatic cancer. Tumors in the pancreas can impede the excretion of pancreatic juice and bile, which can lead to a poor digestion and absorption of patients. Pancreatic cancer patients are likely to suffer from poor appetite and weight loss. This symptom is more common in cancers of the head of the pancreas.
Pancreatic cancer may cause other symptoms and these non-specific symptoms include blood clots, diabetes, nausea and vomiting, and gallbladder or liver enlargement.