The pancreas is a gland in the abdomen which lies behind your stomach and in front of your spine.  Its two main functions are digestion and blood sugar regulation.  If abnormal cells within the pancreas grow out of control, pancreatic cancer can result.

Pancreatic cancer can be hard to diagnose as there are often no signs or symptoms in the early stages.  Symptoms may be vague or can come and go and the severity varies from person to person.

The symptoms of pancreatic cancer can be caused by more common things like gallstones or irritable bowel syndrome but it’s important to get checked out if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Abdominal and mid-back pain
  • Yellow skin or eyes
  • Digestive problems or changes in stool
  • New onset diabetes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mood change

Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate among all major cancers.  There are however treatments available, so early detection is always best.  The cause of the majority of cases of pancreatic cancer is unknown, however there are some risk factors which may increase the likelihood that someone will develop the disease.  These include inherited genetic mutations, family history of pancreatic or other cancers, pancreatitis, diabetes, smoking, obesity, ethnicity, age and diet

What to do if you are concerned

It is important to remember that any of these symptoms and risk factors can have multiple other causes.  The symptoms could well be a sign of something else.

If you are regularly experiencing one or more of these symptoms or the symptoms are persistent or worsening, do not ignore them.  You can book an appointment with our experienced GPs at The Walcote Practice by calling us now on 01962 828175 or email