Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms and Causes

Pancreatic cancer symptoms are not specific. The malignancy of the pancreas leads to the pancreatic cancer. This disease usually does not show any early symptoms meaning in its early stages no pancreatic cancer symptoms are predicted. Therefore pancreatic cancer is called the “silent” disease.

The indication or early sign or the early pancreatic cancer symptom is the condition in which the tumor blocks the common bile duct and bile cannot pass into the digestive system due to this the skin and whites of the eyes may become yellow (jaundiced). Also a noticeable change or pancreatic cancer symptoms are the urine darker as a result of accumulated bile pigment called bilirubin.

Causes of Pancreatic Cancer

The actual cause of this disease is unknown but various factors are considered to be increasing the chances of probability of pancreatic cancer occurrence.

Although the presence of a risk factor does not necessarily mean that an individual will develop cancer but it is sure that the chances of developing the disease are quite high in individuals with risk factors than in individuals without the risk factors. Some of the risk factors are listed below:

  • Age may also be a risk factor which increases the chances of developing this disease. As the age increases the risk for developing the disease also increases. According to statistics it is predicted that the disease is more common among individuals who are above 50, very rare cases are below 50 years. Also the occurrence is quite more prevalent in age group 65 – 79
  • Smoking increases the chances of developing this disease. The chances of developing the disease in smokers is double that in nonsmokers.
  • Non vegetarians have a high risk of getting pancreatic cancer. Although the chances are very high in people who intake meat and fat products it depends on the intake of quantity.
  • Medical factors such as a chronic liver disease called cirrhosis and others like the chronic pancreatitis, diabetes and a history of surgery to the upper digestive tract also contribute to the risk
  • Environmental factors also contribute to the risk for example long-term exposure to certain chemicals, like gasoline and related compounds, as well as certain insecticides, may increase the risk of developing this disease.
  • Genetic predisposition should also be taken into account as the probable reason to increase the risk. It is estimated that approximately 3% of cases are related to genetic disorders.

Most Common Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms or Signs of Pancreatic Cancer

The diagnosis of this disease is usually delayed because symptoms are nonspecific. No pancreatic cancer symptoms are shown in the early stage of the disease. Jaundice which causes yellowing of the skin, is present in approximately 50% of patients at the time of diagnosis and may be associated with less-advanced disease.

Other pancreatic cancer symptoms or signs of pancreatic cancer include:

  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Tiredness, weakness or fatigue
  • Discomfort in the abdomen
  • Poor appetite or loss of appetite
  • Glucose intolerance

In addition to the above mentioned pancreatic cancer symptoms the patient may also experience pain in the abdomen and back. Due to the over production of insulin by the pancreas the possible symptoms would be dizziness, weakness, diarrhea, chills, or muscle spasms. These pancreatic cancer symptoms are shown only at a late stage being silent in the initial stage.