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November 08, 2018

10 Subtle Signs You May Be Battling Pancreatic Cancer

Joyce Knestrick, PhD, CRNP, FAANP

Pancreatic cancer is rare, complicated and deadly. Nestled deep in the abdomen, it’s hard to detect. Once tumors grow, the dense tissue surrounding them make them hard to treat. Symptoms for pancreatic cancer are easy to overlook, but flagging suspicions could save your life. Here’s a list of the 10 most common signs:

  1. Abdominal or back pain
  2. Weight loss
  3. Jaundice
  4. Loss of appetite
  5. Nausea
  6. Diabetes (insulin is made by the pancreas)
  7. Fatigue
  8. Weakness
  9. Depression
  10. Blood clots

Roughly 55,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year, and only about 25 percent will survive the first year, mainly because they found the cancer too late. While family history slightly increases risk, other known causes are not well understood. Flagging early warning signs can lead to early detection and the best long-term prognosis, so pay attention and talk to your provider about possible symptoms.