What are the early signs of pancreatic cancer?

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With current survival rates of pancreatic cancer at just 5% in the UK; raising awareness of the symptoms and early signs of the disease is vital to ensuring patients get the early diagnosis they need in time for potentially life-saving surgery.

What are the main symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

It is important to remember that you do not need to exhibit all of the following symptoms and that if you are experiencing any, which are persistent and not normal for you, you should visit your GP or call NHS 111.

The main symptoms for pancreatic cancer may include one more of the following: jaundice; upper abdominal discomfort; mid-back pain; pale and smelly stools; unexplained weight loss and indigestion that doesn’t respond to medication.  For more information on each symptom, click the links below.

A icon of a person with jaundice, an early signs of pancreatic cancer

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An icon of a person with upper abdominal discomfort, a possible early signs of pancreatic cancer.

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An icon of a person with mid-back pain where a woman's bra strap sits, a possible early signs of pancreatic cancer.

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An icon of a person next to a toilet with pale and smelly stools that do not flush easily, a possible early signs of pancreatic cancer.

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An icon of a person who has had significant weight loss without trying, a possible early signs of pancreatic cancer.

 

An icon of a person suffering from indigestion, not responding to prescribed medication, a possible early signs of pancreatic cancer.

 

Other symptoms  may include:


Keep track of your symptoms

If you are experiencing symptoms that you feel might be pancreatic cancer and you are worried, you can download our free symptoms diary. It will help you keep track of the frequency and persistence of any symptoms you might be experiencing so that you can share your concerns with your GP.


Pancreatic Cancer Action is a small charity with a huge voice, committed to affecting real change, ensuring that patients are diagnosed as early as possible to give them the best chance of survival. We fund research into improving early diagnosis, create award-winning awareness campaigns, provide educational courses for healthcare professionals and provide information for patients and clinicians.

For more information on the symptoms and risk factors of pancreatic cancer, click here.