Pancreatic cancer is sometimes called a “silent” disease because symptoms are rarely present in its early stages. Many patients have advanced disease by the time it becomes noticeable to the patient and doctors. If symptoms are present, they are often vague. Patients may experience different symptoms depending on the location, type and stage of the cancer. Symptoms that commonly lead to diagnosis include: jaundice, abdominal and/or back pain, new-onset diabetes, unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite. A person with advanced pancreatic cancer may also experience ascites (fluid in the abdomen) and blood clots. Symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, digestive difficulties and depression may occur at any time.
Follow the links below for more information about each symptom commonly associated with pancreatic cancer. If someone experiences one or more of the symptoms mentioned in this section, it does not mean that he or she has pancreatic cancer. There are other common medical problems or conditions that may also cause these or similar symptoms. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should consult with a doctor. Only a doctor can diagnose the cause of an individual’s symptoms.
Information provided by the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Inc. (“PanCAN”) is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or other health care services. PanCAN may provide information to you about physicians, products, services, clinical trials or treatments related to pancreatic cancer, but PanCAN does not recommend nor endorse any particular health care resource. In addition, please note that any personal information you provide to PanCAN’s associates during telephone and/or email communications may be stored and used to help PanCAN achieve its mission of assisting patients with, and finding cures and treatments for, pancreatic cancer. Stored constituent information may be used to inform PanCAN programs and activities. Information also may be provided in aggregate or limited formats to third parties to guide future pancreatic cancer research and treatment efforts. PanCAN will not provide personal directly identifying information (such as your name or contact information) to such third parties without your prior written consent unless required or permitted by law to do so.