The pancreas is located behind the stomach and sits deep within the digestive system. The location and the functions of the pancreas make it difficult to detect cancer, especially during the early stages. The symptoms of pancreatic cancer can vary based on the type of cell that becomes infected.
Exocrine pancreatic cancer occurs in the cells that are responsible for making digestive enzymes can reduce the body’s ability to take in nutrients. Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors can lead to overproduction of certain types of hormones, which can lead to several symptoms related to the endocrine system.
Most pancreatic cancer will develop in the exocrine cells. These cells produce the enzymes that aid in digestion. This is the reasons that many people experience different types of digestive issues when pancreatic cancer develops.
According to the American Cancer Society, pancreatic cancer has the highest rate of mortality when compared to other major cancers. Roughly seven percent of cancer related deaths are caused by pancreatic cancer.
Unfortunately, most people who have pancreatic cancer will only show vague symptoms. This means that most of the time pancreatic cancer is not diagnosed in a patient until it has reached a later stage. This is why it is important to recognize the early warning signs of pancreatic cancer as it can help save your life.
Jaundice occurs when there are excessive amounts of bilirubin found in the blood. When this happens the skin and the eyes may turn yellowish in color. Jaundice may occur when pancreatic cancer is present because of the growth of tumors. If the bile duct in the liver becomes blocked by a tumor, bilirubin levels may rise causing jaundice.
There is very little physical discomfort associated with jaundice. However, it is important to seek medical attention if you notice your skin or eyes becoming yellow. Jaundice may be caused by liver issues or other infectious disease and these will likely be ruled out before cancer tests are performed.