Pancreatic cancer symptoms

Early stage pancreatic cancer rarely causes symptoms. Symptoms often only appear once the cancer is large enough to affect nearby organs, or has spread.

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer may include:

  • jaundice – yellowish skin and eyes, dark urine, pale bowel motions and itchiness of the skin
  • indigestion (heartburn)
  • appetite loss
  • nausea and/or vomiting
  • unexplained weight loss
  • pain in the upper abdomen, side or back, which may cause you to wake up at night
  • changed bowel motions – including diarrhoea, severe constipation, or pale, foul-smelling stools that are difficult to flush away.

The symptoms listed above do not necessarily mean that you have cancer; they can indicate other conditions. However, you should see your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.

This information was last reviewed in February 2018
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