Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms in Women

Found deep in the abdomen the pancreas provides support to the digestive system and regulates blood sugar levels by producing the hormones insulin and glucagons. Changes in these functions are when pancreatic cancer symptoms in women occur. It is important to know what these symptoms are in order to increase your chances of an early diagnosis.

What are Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms in Women?

Lots of common illnesses display the same sort of symptoms, making diagnosis of pancreatic cancer more difficult to diagnose.  Pancreatic cancer symptoms in women include initially:

  • Pain – it should be noted that not all stomach pain indicates pancreatic cancer, however specific pain that may be at first intermittent and moves from the stomach to the back is indicative of pancreatic cancer.  The pain will ease when sitting up and leaning forward and get worse when lying down.  Eating often also causes specific pain in the same area.

 

  • Unexplained weight loss – when there has been no increase in exercise or reduction of food intake weight loss is said to be “unexplained” and may be caused by pancreatic cancer.

 

  • Jaundice – a noticeable change in the colour of the skin and the whites of the eyes is the main sign of jaundice occurring.  The yellowness comes from bile which is produced by the pancreas and due to a tumour may be passed to the blood instead of the digestive system. 

 

Before or after diagnosis other pancreatic cancer symptoms in women may be experienced as the cancer progresses.  Some further symptoms include:

  • Diabetes – although common on its own, diabetes often occurs alongside pancreatic cancer due to the important role the pancreas plays in regulating blood sugar level.  When suffering from diabetes a patient may feel weak and lethargic with an excessive thirst and the need to pass water much more frequently.

 

  • Bowel disturbances – due to the disruption of the digestive system caused by pancreatic cancer, smelly, large and pale stools may be experienced.  This indicates passing excessive fat that would otherwise have been processed by the pancreatic hormones.

 

  • Nausea with vomiting – hormone imbalance will likely cause the feeling of nausea and a need to vomit.

 

  • Fever and shivering – if an increased temperature is caused by the pancreas malfunctioning then the body may react by shivering.

Steps to Take if You Have Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms in Women

An early discussion of all your symptoms with your GP would be wise, as this is a difficult disease to diagnose due the complex symptoms and their other possible causes.  Despite the expertise of your GP if you feel that your symptoms require more speedy or thorough investigation it is recommended that you consider a private consultation or second opinion.

Other illnesses may disguise pancreatic cancer symptoms in women but by knowing your own body and advising doctors of all your symptoms however unrelated or trivial they may seem you can greatly increase your chances of early detection and a healthy future.  Pancreatic cancer is difficult to treat as well as diagnose so the earlier you start treatment the better your outlook.

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