Pancreatic cancer: The sign in your back of the ‘silent disease’

Olivia Williams discusses ‘bizarre’ symptom of pancreatic cancer

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The severity of pancreatic cancer depends on the exact location in the pancreas, the size of the cancer and the spread. Your general health can also be a factor. Although it can be sometimes difficult to notice that you have this condition because of the hard-to-spot symptoms, there’s one common sign that can be found in your back.


The tricky thing about this type of cancer is that symptoms are rarely detected at the early stage when it’s most curable, the Mayo Clinic reports.

The reason behind this could be that the disease often doesn’t cause any symptoms until it has spread to other organs.

However, there are some common signs that can be helpful to know

One of them is back pain, Pancreatic Cancer UK reports.

This type of pain usually starts in your tummy area and radiates all the way to your back.

The charity explains that the pain may start as general discomfort or tenderness and spread later.

It might come and go at first, but eventually, it becomes more constant.

This type of pain can become worse when you lie down or after you’ve had food.

Pancreatic Cancer UK reports that the pain can sometimes be eased by sitting forward.

Other symptoms of this type of cancer are:

  • Whites of your eyes or your skin turning yellow 
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Losing weight without trying to
  • Feeling tired or having no energy
  • High temperature, feeling hot or shivery.

Jaundice is the name of the condition that can turn your eyes and skin yellow. It can also be accompanied by itchy skin, darker pee and paler stools.

Pancreatic cancer may lead to this condition by blocking your bile duct, which is a tube that takes bile from your liver.

Pancreatic cancer is not the only cause of jaundice as it can also be triggered by gallstones or liver inflammation.

However, if you suspect you have jaundice, you should speak to your doctor immediately or go to A&E.

When it comes to other symptoms of pancreatic cancer, you should see your GP if the symptoms troubling you don’t improve after two weeks.

Once you have a GP appointment, your doctor might feel your tummy, ask for a pee sample, or a blood test.

If your doctor suspects that you suffer from pancreatic cancer, they might refer you to see a specialist for more tests.

This referral may take up to two weeks. However, this stage doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer, the NHS explains.

Even though this type of cancer can be “difficult” to treat, there are some options available.

These range from surgery to chemotherapy. Your doctor will help find you the best possible treatment for you.


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