Mid-back pain or discomfort

Pancreatic Cancer Action
Patient Information Booklets

Control the symptoms of pancreatic cancer

This booklet covers the different procedures used to control pancreatic cancer symptoms with practical information about your hospital visit and returning home. Includes a section about second opinions, clinical trials and questions to ask your doctor and a glossary to explain some of the terms used.

Mid-back pain or discomfort can be a symptom of pancreatic cancer.

What is it?

Mid-back pain can be a sign of pancreatic cancer. The pain can be caused by a tumour invading nerves or organs that lie near the pancreas. Some people also report that they feel pain in their shoulder or under their shoulder blade. Other people feel pain in their back and abdomen (tummy) at the same time.

How do I know if I have this?

Back pain is experienced by people in the population and having mid-back pain does not mean you have pancreatic cancer. However, if you are experiencing mid back pain (in the region just below your shoulder blades) that is not normal for you, there is no harm in checking with your GP – especially if you are experiencing any of the other symptoms described here.

What should I do if I am experiencing upper abdominal pain or discomfort?

If you regularly experience one or more of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer which are not normal for you, do not ignore them, contact your GP straight away or call NHS 111 to investigate.

Symptoms diary

Keeping track of any symptoms you may be experiencing can be useful when discussing them with your GP.

Other symptoms of pancreatic cancer

It is important to remember that the symptoms of pancreatic cancer can be caused by many different conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome or indigestion, and aren’t usually the result of cancer.

You may not have all of the symptoms and they may come and go a vary in severity. Find out more about the different symptoms of pancreatic cancer: