Pancreatic cancer symptoms include these five telltale signs


The pancreas is an organ found in the abdomen, just behind the stomach. Its main functions are to help with the digestion of food and control blood sugar.

Pancreatic cancer is the 10th most common type of cancer in the UK, but the fifth most deadly. It accounts for almost 10,000 deaths every year.

Part of what makes the disease so deadly is the fact that it can be symptomless, or symptoms can be “subtle”, making them hard to spot.

Therefore, being aware of the potential signs could be life saving. One expert revealed five such signs to look for.

Speaking via TikTok, hospice nurse Julie McFadden – better known as just Hospice Nurse Julie, explained: “Pancreatic credit cancer is so deadly because it’s caught so late.

“So here are the five subtle signs you may see that could save your life.”

These signs are:


Pain in your abdomen or back could be a warning sign of the disease.

Julie said: “Abdominal pain or mid back pain.

“This does not have to be severe. It can be a dull ache.”

The NHS describes this as: “Pain at the top part of your tummy and your back, which may feel worse when you’re eating or lying down and better when you lean forward.”


This might seem strange but if you develop diabetes it could be a precursor to pancreatic cancer.

More specifically, Julie said this is new onset diabetes that is “not associated with weight gain”.

According to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, diabetes may be either a risk factor or a symptom of pancreatic cancer.

“Pancreatic cancer is more likely to occur in people who have long-standing (over five years) diabetes than in people who do not have diabetes,” it says.

“Also, research studies suggest that new-onset diabetes in people over 50 may be an early symptom of pancreatic cancer.

“A sudden change in blood sugar levels in diabetics who previously had well-controlled diabetes may also be a sign of pancreatic cancer.”


Jaundice refers to the yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

Julie said: “Yellow eyes or yellow skin, meaning the whites of your eyes turn a little yellow, or your skin has a little bit of a yellow tint.”

The Mayo Clinic says this could also cause dark-coloured urine and pale-coloured stools.

Unintentional weight loss

Julie said this was the “main” symptom to be aware of.

“That’s like the main thing I see in pancreatic cancer,” she said. “You lose weight for no reason.

“You may have a change in appetite but sometimes you can be eating a lot and still losing weight.”

She added: “If you have any of these symptoms, it does not hurt to go get checked out by a doctor. It can save your life.”

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