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What are the symptoms?

Early-stage pancreatic cancer rarely causes symptoms. Symptoms may not appear until the cancer is large enough to affect nearby organs or has spread.

Common symptoms of exocrine tumours and pancreatic NETs may include:

  • jaundice – yellowish skin and eyes, dark urine, pale bowel motions and itchy skin
  • indigestion (heartburn)
  • appetite loss
  • nausea with or without vomiting
  • unexplained weight loss
  • pain in the upper abdomen, side or back, which may cause you to wake up at night
  • changed bowel motions – including diarrhoea, severe constipation, or pale, oily, foul-smelling stools that are difficult to flush away
  • newly diagnosed diabetes.

Because the rarer form of pancreatic cancer, functioning pancreatic NETs, produce excess hormones they also have symptoms such as: 

  • too much sugar in the blood (diabetes)
  • a drop in blood sugar
  • blurred vision
  • being very thirsty
  • needing to pass urine more often
  • reflux
  • severe watery diarrhoea.