Appetite Loss Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

Appetite loss is a symptom of many ailments and whilst it is welcomed by many people as it is accompanied by weight loss it can be a cause for concern. Appetite loss can signal something severe or it could be a symptom of something small like a virus. Either way, due to the vagueness of the symptom it is important to speak to your GP and have further tests in order to make an accurate diagnosis.

How does Appetite Loss relate to Pancreatic Cancer?

Appetite loss is one of the early warning signs of pancreatic cancer, and whilst it can be a symptom of other diseases it is still better to speak to your GP if you are suffering from it.  Around 45% of pancreatic cancer patients suffer from appetite loss.  It is usually caused by the small bowel being compressed which leads to a delay in the stomach emptying.  This can cause a feeling of fullness and as such decreases the appetite and can also cause feelings of nausea.

What are the Appetite Loss Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms?

Appetite loss can either be an early warning sign of pancreatic cancer or it can be a side effect of the cancer treatment you receive – this is particularly true in the case of chemotherapy.  Appetite loss is usually accompanied by a significant weight loss and if other symptoms such as jaundice or itchy skin are also prevalent your doctor may refer you for tests.

Steps to Take to Minimise the Appetite Loss Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

Appetite loss is a common occurrence in cancer patients however there are a few steps that can be taken to overcome this sensation and either increase a patient’s appetite or their interest in food.  Some steps to take to minimise appetite loss pancreatic cancer symptoms include:

  • Take light exercise before meals – even a short walk can increase the appetite


  • Select foods that you enjoy to eat and foods that have an appetite enriching aroma


  • Keep hydrated


  • If food makes you feel nauseous try taking a form of anti nausea medication


  • Use a large plate and place small portions on it – this can help the food to appear less overwhelming


  • Try and make the mealtimes pleasing so that you look forward to them more


If none of the above methods work your doctor may prescribe you with a form of medicine that aims to increase the appetite.  It can however take weeks before this type of medication works and most if not all of them come with side effects.

Diagnosing pancreatic cancer is not as easy as it is to diagnose other cancer types.  Due to the symptoms being similar to other ailments, you will not usually be tested for pancreatic cancer unless you experience a few of the related symptoms.  It is a curable form of cancer but only if it is diagnosed in an early stage.  If you are suffering from weight or appetite loss pancreatic cancer symptoms speak to your GP as soon as possible.

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