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Pancreatic cancer may not cause symptoms for a long time, and they may be vague to begin with. The most common symptoms are pain in the upper abdomen, weight loss, and jaundice.
Some people may have only one symptom. Remember, most pain in the abdomen is not caused by cancer of the pancreas, but see your doctor if you are worried.
This often begins in the upper abdomen and sometimes spreads to the back. The pain may come and go or be there all the time. It may feel worse when you are lying down and be relieved by sitting up or bending forward
This may occur without a clear cause such as dieting.
People with jaundice may have yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes, itchy skin, dark yellow urine, and pale bowel motions. It can happen if cancer in the head of the pancreas blocks the duct that carries bile from the liver to the small bowel (bile duct). The bile can’t drain away and builds up in the body causing the symptoms of jaundice. Jaundice can also be caused by illnesses other than pancreatic cancer.
Other symptoms may include:
Content last reviewed: 1 December 2010
Next planned review: 2013
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