AARP – Warning Signs of Pancreatic Cancer

Sometimes pancreatic cancer can obstruct the duct that contains bile, a fluid secreted by the liver that aids in the absorption of nutrients. When the duct gets blocked, it can cause a backup of bile that may get into the bloodstream, causing jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), darkening of the urine, lightening of the stool and, less commonly, itching.

Nausea and vomiting

It can be hard to tell whether these symptoms are indications of pancreatic cancer or the result of something like food poisoning or a new medication. “If the symptoms are new, don’t resolve after 24 hours and result in excess dehydration, or if they progress, medical attention should be sought,” Farrell advises.

Loss of appetite and unintentional weight loss

Often patients with pancreatic cancer start eating less, in part because they don’t feel well. They can also feel bloated or fuller sooner after eating. Take note if these symptoms seem to get worse over time, Wolpin says.