Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: pancreatic | cancer | signs | symptoms

What Are Signs of Pancreatic Cancer?

Monday, 27 August 2012 02:09 PM

Question: I understand that pancreatic cancer is a silent killer, but are there any signs a person can look for? I’ve had two relatives who have died from it.

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Pancreatic cancer often has a poor prognosis, even when diagnosed early. It is very elusive early on, and may present as weight loss, loss of appetite, or just a vague sense of ill health. Sometimes it presents as urticaria (a recurrent itchy skin condition that looks like an allergic reaction, and when investigated, it is found to be related to cancer growth.) Pancreatic cancer typically spreads rapidly and is seldom detected in its early stages, which is a major reason why it's a leading cause of cancer death. Signs and symptoms may not appear until pancreatic cancer is quite advanced and surgical removal isn't possible. You may have upper abdominal pain that may radiate to your back, yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice), loss of appetite, weight loss, depression, or blood clots.

If you have any unexplained weight loss, abdominal pain, jaundice, or other signs and symptoms that bother you, make sure you visit your doctor. Many diseases and conditions other than cancer may cause similar signs and symptoms, so your doctor may check for these conditions as well as for pancreatic cancer.

Since you have had two relatives die from the disease, you can discuss your family history with your doctor who may suggest that you can answer a risk assessment to see if you are also at a risk for the disease.

© HealthDay

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Pancreatic cancer has a number of early signs, but they are often not recognized at pancreatic cancer.
Monday, 27 August 2012 02:09 PM
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