Acute Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

When pancreatic cancer becomes established, due to being not diagnosed in the early stages of development then it is said to be "acute". Acute pancreatic cancer symptoms will indicate a reduced risk of survival but may be eased due to modern advances in medical science.

What are Acute Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms?

Acute pancreatic cancer symptoms present in such a way that they could indicate any number of common illnesses, therefore making diagnosis difficult.  Acute pancreatic cancer symptoms include:

  • Pain – whilst pain in the abdomen may have been intermittent previously once the cancer is acute the pain will be the main symptom.  The pain will make sleeping, eating and functioning normally very difficult.

  • Unexplained weight loss – as the cancer develops there is a much increased chance that disruption of the digestive system will have occurred, affecting the way in which fat is absorbed and blood sugar regulated and resulting in otherwise unexplained weight loss.  Pain may also impact on the appetite and further increase weight loss.

  • Jaundice – if not previously diagnosed the skin and the whites of the eyes will take on a more noticeable yellow tinge.  As bile production becomes more disrupted and the body does not process it as usual it is diverted to the blood and affects the skin tone.  Your skin may also be itchy.

  • Diabetes – it can occur that a diagnosis of diabetes together with the symptoms above will give an indication that the patient has pancreatic cancer.  Diabetes could be indicated by an excessive thirst, an increased need to pass water and again an unexplained weight loss.

  • Bowel disturbances – once pancreatic cancer is established there is an additional risk that the tumour may press on the bowel and together with irregularities in digestion regulating hormones will lead to large, smelly, pale stools.  These stools will contain a large amount of fat that would otherwise have been dealt with by the bowel but due to the lack of the necessary enzymes is excreted through bowel motions.

  • Nausea with sickness – many of the above symptoms will affect a patient leading to nausea and increased need to be sick.

  • Fever and shivering – a shivering response will occur once a fever has developed due to inflammation of the pancreas.

Steps to Take if You Have Acute Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

Any of the above acute pancreatic cancer symptoms on their own are worth discussing with your GP, however once there is more than one symptom the matter becomes more urgent.  You should expect a speedy response from your GP or consultant so any delays should not be treated lightly and where possible a private consultation is advisable.

Early detection is one of the most important factors in the treatment of pancreatic cancer so being aware of your body and your energy levels is important in this respect.  Take care of yourself and make sure that any differences you experience are discussed with your GP at the earliest possible time.

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