World Pancreatic Cancer Day 2023: A persistent lack of appetite can be a symptom of pancreatic cancer
World Pancreatic Cancer Day is observed every year on November 16th. It is an initiative led by the World Pancreatic Cancer Coalition (WPCC) to raise awareness about pancreatic cancer and support those affected by the disease.
Pancreatic cancer is a type of cancer that affects the pancreas. The pancreas is a gland located behind the stomach in the abdomen. It plays a crucial role in digestion and regulation of blood sugar levels. The pancreas has two primary functions: exocrine function and endocrine function.
The exocrine part of the pancreas produces enzymes that aid in digestion. These enzymes are released into the small intestine to help break down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. The endocrine part of the pancreas produces hormones, including insulin and glucagon, which regulate blood sugar levels. These hormones are released into the bloodstream.
Pancreatic cancer occurs when cell mutations or genetic changes lead to uncontrolled cell growth in the pancreas. This abnormal cell growth can form tumours, impacting the functioning of the pancreas and potentially spreading to other parts of the body.
Pancreatic cancer is often challenging to detect in its early stages as it may not cause noticeable symptoms until it has progressed. It's important to note that many early signs and symptoms of pancreatic cancer may be non-specific and could be related to other conditions.
If you suspect any health concerns or notice any changes in your body, it's always recommended to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis. Read on as we share these early signs.
Here are 10 early signs that may indicate pancreatic cancer:
Yellowing of the skin and eyes is a common symptom of pancreatic cancer, caused by the blockage of the bile duct.
2. Abdominal pain
Persistent pain or discomfort in the abdomen, specifically in the upper part or around the back, can be a sign of pancreatic cancer.
3. Unexplained weight loss
Significant and unintentional weight loss can occur with pancreatic cancer due to a decreased appetite or problems with digestion.
Frequent indigestion, difficulty in digesting food, or changes in bowel movements that are unexplained by other causes should be investigated further.
5. Loss of appetite
A sudden and persistent lack of appetite can be a symptom of pancreatic cancer.
6. Nausea and vomiting
Persistent nausea, vomiting, or general malaise that doesn't improve with usual treatments might be an early sign of pancreatic cancer.
New-onset diabetes in the absence of other risk factors or family history could be an early indication of pancreatic cancer.
8. Pale or floating stools
Pancreatic tumours can cause changes in bowel movements, such as pale-coloured or fatty stools that float due to impaired digestion.
9. Dark urine
If your urine becomes darker or tea-coloured, it could indicate a blockage of the bile duct, often associated with pancreatic cancer.
10. Fatigue and weakness
Feeling extremely tired or weak, even with sufficient rest, can sometimes be an early sign of various cancers, including pancreatic cancer.
Remember, these symptoms can be caused by other conditions as well, and experiencing any of them doesn't necessarily mean you have pancreatic cancer. Consult with a medical professional for proper evaluation and diagnosis if you have any concerns.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.