OVER 10,000 Brits are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the UK each year, data from Cancer Research UK states.
That equates to around 29 people every day, with the illness being the tenth most common cancer in the country.
It can be hard to spot, as the disease doesn’t usually cause symptoms in the early stages.
But as the cancer grows, it can start to causes symptoms, medics at the charity said.
One strange symptom that you might not associate with the illness, can be found in your eyes.
Experts stated that many people with pancreatic cancer have jaundice when they first go to the doctors.
Guidance states: “Jaundice is yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes.
“The wee (urine) is darker than normal and poo (stools or bowel motions) may be lighter in colour.
“Jaundice is more common with cancer of the head of the pancreas because the tumour blocks the bile duct.”
This tube, they explained, carries bile into the small bowel and if it is blocked the bile ends up in your bloodstream.
You then pass it out in your urine rather than through the bowel, so your stools looks lighter.
“Bile contains a lot of yellow pigments so it turns the skin yellow. This may be less noticeable in black or brown skin. It is often easier to spot in the whites of the eyes rather than the skin,” medics added.
While jaundice is one of the most common symptoms, experts say there are nine others you should be on the lookout for.
1. Pain the stomach area or back
Data from the charity states that around 70 per cent of people with the illness will suffer from this.
They explained that it’s more common in cancer of the body and tail of the pancreas.
It’s often described as a pain that feels as if it is boring into you, experts said.
2. Unexplained weight loss
Those with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer might have recently lost at least 10 per cent of their total body weight, the experts said.
This will be unexplained, meaning they have lost weight without trying to.
Some people with this cancer are found to be newly diagnosed with diabetes.
“Some have been diagnosed with diabetes within the previous year.
“If you have diabetes you are not producing enough insulin. So there is too much sugar in your blood. The sugar passes out of the body in the urine and takes some water with it,” the experts said.
This could cause symptoms such as thirst, peeing more than usual, weakness and hunger.
If you have bad jaundice then you might experience itchy skin.
This is because there is increased bile salts in the bloodstream which cause your skin to itch.
Again, because you have jaundice you may feel or be sick.
This might also happen because you have an inflamed pancreas, the experts said.
6. Bowel changes
If your pancreatic duct blocks, you might develop a symptom called steatorrhoea, the experts said.
This means fatty stools and you might also experience large bowel motions that are pale coloured and smelly.
7. Fever and shivering
“You might have a temperature from time to time because you have jaundice or an inflamed pancreas. When your temperature is high you may feel cold and shivery,” guidance states.
For most people, this won’t be a sign of cancer.
But if it’s persistent and it isn’t getting better with medicine then you should see your GP.
9. Blood clots
Occasionally, the charity said that this cancer is linked to blood clots.
They said: “They may form in the deep veins in the legs for example, or in smaller veins anywhere on the body. Sometimes the clots will disappear and then develop somewhere else in the body.T
If you have an endocrine pancreatic tumour then you might struggle to detect symptoms.
The charity states that this is a rare condition and that most of these tumours don’t produce hormones – so don’t cause specific symptoms.
The experts added: “Symptoms of pancreatic cancer can be vague. They can be caused by other conditions, but it’s important to get them checked by a doctor.
“See your GP if you have any new symptoms or symptoms that aren’t going away.”
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