Cancer is usually asymptomatic for a while, but some types of cancer are readily detectable at an early stage. Some others might be tricky, but there are standard screening methods that would help patients get a clear diagnosis before things get out of hand. However, there are certain types of cancer that remain elusive for both patients and doctors, and they are only detected when tumors are large enough to cause severe alterations. Pancreatic cancer enters this category.
The pancreas is a retroperitoneal organ, which means it is very deep within the abdominal cavity. We can’t feel this organ through the skin, and it is impossible to diagnose pancreatic disease without the aid of radiology and lab tests. In most cases, pancreatic cancer starts displaying clear signs and symptoms when its large enough to cause structural damage to the surrounding organs and when cancer cells display endocrine activity causing a hormonal imbalance. In this article, we are going to cover the most important signs and symptoms to take into consideration in pancreatic cancer, but do not wait for these symptoms to show up before performing your routine check-up.
Pain is very common symptoms of pancreatic cancer, and it counts as one of the initial symptoms patients reports. Abdominal pain is either mid-epigastric pain (located in the middle of the upper abdomen) or back pain. It is also described as upper abdominal pain radiated to the lower back. Patients who describe pain that radiates to the back may have an advanced phase of the disease, and this symptom may signal an invasion of the nerve plexus Signs of that is located deep in the retroperitoneal space.
Pain in pancreatic cancer is more common in the night or when patients are lying down in the bed, or any flat surface, and many patients describe an aggravation of pain after eating. However, pancreatic cancer does not display a single type of abdominal pain, and each patient should be assessed according to his symptoms.