The pancreas is an organ in the abdomen and lies in the lower part of the stomach. It releases enzymes that help in digestion and also produces hormones that regulate blood sugar. Cancer in the pancreas is referred to as pancreatic cancer. Often, it is not detected in the early stages as its symptoms often don’t show till cancer has spread to other organs.

Early warning signs for pancreatic cancer
The early warning signs i.e. symptoms may vary depending on the type of cell affected and the size of the tumor. In certain patients, only a couple of the signs may show while others may experience none or almost all of them.

A few of the early warning signs for pancreatic cancer are mentioned below. Having these symptoms does not necessarily mean that one has the disease as they can occur due to other conditions too. Hence, after observing any of them or a combination of these symptoms, one needs a visit to the doctor to confirm the diagnosis.

1. Abdominal pain
Pain in the abdomen region is a symptom of this disease. This is because as cancer grows out of the pancreas into surrounding organs, it causes pain in the region. When the cancer spreads to the nerves surrounding the pancreas, it causes back pain too.

2. Jaundice
Increase in bilirubin in the liver leads to jaundice, and dark yellow urine is a sign of this disease. One of the first symptoms to show for pancreatic cancer cases is the development of jaundice.

3. Itchy skin
Itchy skin is another common symptom if this disease has developed in the body. Also the skin turns yellowish.

4. Loss of appetite
Loss of appetite is one of the early warning signs of pancreatic cancer. It should be noted that this symptom can be caused by other medical conditions too, hence it is best to immediately consult a doctor and not panic.

5. Weight loss
Sudden weight loss, when not intended, can be one of the symptoms of the disease.

6. Greasy stools and change in color of stool
When the bile duct is blocked, the stools change color to gray. Additionally, in this medical condition, the stools might become greasy. The reason for this is that the intestines cannot break fats down in pancreatic cancer.

7. Nausea and vomiting
The passing of food through the food pipe and its digestion can become difficult in this medical condition. This leads to nausea and vomiting.

Advanced pancreatic cancer
When the pancreatic cancer has advanced and been diagnosed, without necessarily having shown the early warning signs, it is likely to show these symptoms.

1. Extreme fatigue

2. Increase in the back pain and abdominal pain

3. Bed sores

4. Diabetes

5. Depression

Prevention of the disease
Some preventive measures to reduce the risk of the disease are mentioned below. Studies have shown that following these steps can reduce the chances of the occurrence of cancer.

1. Keep your weight under control.

2. Data state that 20% to 30% of people who smoke can get pancreatic cancer. Hence stopping smoking is one of the preventive measures not to get this disease.