Pancreatic Cancer Signs and Symptoms

According to the American Cancer Society, signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer, early pancreatic cancers often do not cause any signs or symptoms. By the time they do cause symptoms, they have often already spread outside the pancreas. It’s not clear what causes pancreatic cancer in most cases. Doctors have identified risk factors, such as smoking, that increase your risk of developing pancreatic cancer.


Symptoms of Pancreatic Cancer


Jaundice is yellowing of the eyes and skin. Most people with pancreatic cancer (and virtually all people with ampullary cancer) will have jaundice as one of their first symptoms.

Dark urine

Itchy skin

Blood clots

Nausea and vomiting

Light-colored or greasy stools

Pain in the abdomen or back

Pain in the abdomen or back is common in pancreatic cancer. Cancers that start in the body or tail of the pancreas can grow fairly large and start to press on other nearby organs, causing pain.

Unintended weight loss and poor appetite

Liver or Gallbladder enlargement

If the cancer blocks the bile duct, bile can build up in the gallbladder, making it larger.

Abnormalities in fatty tissue

In some cases, people with pancreatic cancer develop an uneven texture of the fatty tissue underneath the skin. This is caused by the release of the pancreatic enzymes that digest fat.


In rare cases, pancreatic cancers can cause diabetes

Experiencing one or more of the symptoms listed above does not necessarily mean that you have pancreatic cancer. As with most diseases, many of these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions. However, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to get checked by your doctor or healthcare professional and treated as necessary.

See below for updated news and information regarding Pancreatic Cancer including new medical research, treatment options and advancements. 

Latest Pancreatic Cancer News

New Pancreatic Cancer Research: Pancreatic tumors rely on signals from surrounding cells

(SOURCE: SALK INSTITUTE) - Just as an invasive weed might need nutrient-rich soil and water to grow, many cancers rely on the right surroundings in the body to thrive. A tumor’s microenvironment—the nearby tissues, immune cells, blood vessels and extracellular matrix—has long been known to play a role in the tumor’s growth. Now, Salk scientists have pinned down how signals from this ...
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Pancreatic Cancer Research News: Study challenges potential pancreatic cancer target

(SOURCE: UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN HEALTH SYSTEM) -  A protein thought to fuel pancreatic cancer development plays a much more complicated role, a new study finds. PDX1, a transcription factor critical for pancreatic development, has distinct roles at different stages of pancreatic cancer – keeping cancer at bay in normal cells, then eventually contributing to the cancer’s growth once a tumor forms, but ...
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New Pancreatic Cancer Research: Potentially Reversible Changes in Gene Control ‘Prime’ Pancreatic Cancer Cells to Spread

(SOURCE: JOHNS HOPKINS MEDICINE) - Epigenetic changes, not DNA mutations, drive some metastasis. A multicenter team of researchers reports that a full genomic analysis of tumor samples from a small number of people who died of pancreatic cancer suggests that chemical changes to DNA that do not affect the DNA sequence itself yet control how it operates confer survival advantages on subsets ...
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Pancreatic Cancer Research News: Tumor DNA in Blood May Serve as Prognostic Marker of Pancreatic Cancer

(SOURCE: AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR CANCER RESEARCH) - The presence of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) isolated from blood samples of patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma was associated with poor outcomes, according to a study published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. “Our study confirms, in one of the largest reported series, the feasibility of detecting ctDNA in ...
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Cancer Treatment Research: Researchers develop new compound to reduce tumor growth

(SOURCE: STANFORD MEDICINE) Researchers at Stanford found that a new cell surface receptor they created is effective at inhibiting cancer growth in mice. A baseball glove is typically made from leather. If a new design made gloves more attractive to baseballs — catching them at higher rates than the typical glove — would it be a game changer? Researchers at Stanford ...
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Cancer Research News: Study shows low-dose chemotherapy regimens could prevent tumor recurrence in some cancers

(SOURCE: ROCKEFELLER UNIVERSITY PRESS) Conventional, high-dose chemotherapy treatments can cause the fibroblast cells surrounding tumors to secrete proteins that promote the tumors' recurrence in more aggressive forms, researchers at Taipei Medical University and the National Institute of Cancer Research in Taiwan and University of California, San Francisco, have discovered. Frequent, low-dose chemotherapy regimens avoid this effect and may therefore be ...
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Pancreatic Cancer Advancements: Researchers Identify Mechanism That Causes Resistance of Pancreatic Cancer Cells to Chemotherapy

(UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL) According to a recent press release, a pioneering University of Liverpool research team have published a study that identifies the mechanism in the human body that causes resistance of pancreatic cancer cells to chemotherapy ...
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Pancreatic Cancer Treatment News: New Research Findings May Pave Way Toward Better Treatment

(UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME) According to a recent press release, pancreatic cancer, the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths, is projected to be the second by the year 2030, according to a study in the journal of Cancer Research. The five-year survival rate is only 8 percent, making it the only major cancer with a survival rate in the single ...
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Pancreatic Cancer News: Researchers Discover Potential Drug Targets to Reduce Pain in Pancreatic Cancer Patients

(THE TRANSLATIONAL GENOMICS RESEARCH INSTITUTE) According to a recent press release, The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) has discovered potential drug targets to reduce pain in pancreatic cancer patients ...
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Cancer News: Researchers Discover Method to Block Certain Cancer Genetic Mutations

(UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT CHICAGO) According to a recent press release, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have identified a new way to block the action of genetic mutations found in nearly 30 percent of all cancers ...
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