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Pancreatic Cancer - Symptoms

Pancreatic cancer usually doesn't cause symptoms at first. It's silent and painless. Symptoms usually don't begin until the cancer has spread. They may include:

  • Pain in the upper belly or back.
  • Jaundice. This yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes can happen when the growing tumor presses the bile duct closed.
  • Unexpected weight loss.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Extreme tiredness.

Of course, there are other conditions that cause these symptoms, so they don't necessarily mean you have cancer. But it's important to talk to your doctor if you have any of these problems.

Recommended Related to Pancreatic Cancer

Whipple Procedure

Among common cancers, pancreatic cancer has one of the poorest prognoses. Because pancreatic cancer often grows and spreads long before it causes any symptoms, only about 5% of patients are still alive five years after diagnosis. For some pancreatic patients, however, a complex surgery known as the Whipple procedure may extend life and could be a potential cure. Those who undergo the Whipple procedure have a five-year survival rate of about 20%. The classic Whipple procedure is named after Allen...

Read the Whipple Procedure article > >

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 05, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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