Pancreatic cancer: The ‘generalised’ feeling that could signal the deadly disease

Olivia Williams discusses ‘bizarre’ symptom of pancreatic cancer

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

The pancreas plays an important role in both digestion and hormonal balance. The organ is situated behind the stomach, where it releases enzymes into the small intestine. Disruption of the organ’s function can be felt both in your gastrointestinal system and across your body. The symptoms you feel will depend on what type of pancreatic cell becomes cancerous.

Seven of every ten cases see the tumour form in the head of the pancreas, where it produces a specific set of symptoms.
When the tumour is blocking the bile duct that leads into the intestines, the bile will start to seep into the bloodstream.
This causes a generalised itch that can be felt all over the body and can get worse over time, according to EMIS Health’s Patient Info directory.
This can appear alongside or be preceded by a gradually intensifying yellowing of the skin.

The yellowing of the skin, called jaundice, is also a distinctive symptom of liver failure.

When the liver is no longer able to break down the chemicals of bile in the blood they accumulate and cause the same yellowing skin.

Cancer in the gallbladder can also cause a leakage of bile into the blood.

Your skin tone might make it more difficult to identify the yellowing of the skin, in which case you might more easily spot the yellowing in the whites of your eyes.

The symptoms of pancreatic cancer might not be painful when they first appear.

Often the symptoms will accumulate slowly and become more painful over time.

If you believe you might suffer from pancreatic cancer you should consult yourdoctor sooner rather than later.

Once the cancer begins to spread to other organs or the bloodstream it becomes much more difficult to treat.

Less common types of pancreatic cancer might produce different symptoms.

If the cancer develops in the cells that produce insulin then your blood sugar might be persistently low.

This can cause confusion, sweating and feelings of weakness and dizziness.

Insulin’s opposite hormone, glucagon, is also produced in the pancreas and very rarely pancreatic tumours will cause an increase in blood sugar.

Symptoms of cancer can appear from pancreatic tumours that are common with other types of cancer.

You might feel a persistent pain in the region where the tumour is growing.

Weight loss and gain are both commonly experienced as cancers interfere with digestion and nutrition in other areas of the body.

Changes in bowel habits can also occur, with pancreatic cancer producing a distinctly pale stool due to the blockage of the bile duct in the digestive system.

Source: Read Full Article