Bowel Changes Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

Pancreatic cancer was diagnosed in just over 8,000 people in the United Kingdom in 2008. That same year, almost 7,800 people died of pancreatic cancer, many of these being part of the 8,000 recently diagnosed. The percentage of those who survive pancreatic cancer is very low and it is expected that most people diagnosed with pancreatic cancer will die within six months. However, although pancreatic cancer still remains an incredibly aggressive form of cancer, much has happened research wise and the survival rate, whilst remaining very low, has doubled since the 1970s.

What are Bowel Changes?

Bowel changes manifest themselves in two ways:

  • Change in frequency of bowel movements – this can either be constipation in which there is difficulty in opening the bowels; or diarrhoea.


  • Change in colour and consistency of bowel movements. 

How do Bowel Changes relate to Pancreatic Cancer?

Bowel changes pancreatic cancer symptoms is one of the most common side effects of pancreatic cancer.  There are many reasons for this, but one of the main ones is jaundice.  Jaundice means your body is not absorbing nutrients appropriately, which has an effect on the bowel movements.  In essence, the appearance of jaundice is usually the time when those who unknowingly suffer from pancreatic cancer first go to the doctor.  Jaundice is generally painless, but it does have many effects, including bowel changes pancreatic cancer symptoms.

What are the Bowel Changes Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms?

The bowel changes pancreatic cancer symptoms list is quite long and includes:

  • Jaundice
  • Frequent bowel motions
  • Large bowel motions
  • Pale coloured bowel movements
  • Smelly bowel movements
  • Fatty stools

Further Information about Bowel Changes Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms

These types of bowel movements generally indicate that your body is not absorbing nutrients appropriately and this may be lead to weight loss.  Weight loss is another very common symptom of pancreatic cancer and is often caused in part by bowel changes pancreatic cancer symptoms as well as loss of appetite, meaning patients in effect become anorexic.

Pancreatic cancer is a terrible disease that kills around 90% of those who are diagnosed with it, even if caught early.  If you are in one of the high risk groups, such as the over 60s, smokers, or those who have a family history of pancreatic cancer, and you notice bowel changes pancreatic cancer symptoms, it is important to seek medical help immediately to find out what is causing your bowel changes. 

As bowel changes like the ones described above are often indicative of jaundice, you may also notice other symptoms such as yellow pigmentation of the skin and the whites of your eyes, as well as discolouration of your urine.  If you have not been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and you notice any of these symptoms, you should also seek medical attention as soon as possible.  Jaundice can be completely unrelated to pancreatic cancer and may pass very quickly, but it is important to be able to rule out pancreatic cancer if at all possible.

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