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Risk Factors and Symptoms

There are many risk factors for patients with pancreatic cancer, they include: 

  • Smoking
  • Weight
  • Pancreatic cancer risk increases after age 50
  • Ethnicity 
  • Diabetes
  • Individuals previously with chronic pancreatitis
  • Family history of pancreatic cancer

It is often difficult to diagnose pancreatic cancer because there are little to no signs or symptoms. In fact, by the time there are symptoms, the cancer has often spread outside the pancreas.  Some of the symptoms of advanced pancreatic cancer include:

  • Jaundice or yellowing of the skin and eyes
  • Increased bilirubin in blood and darker urine
  • Light-colored stool could be gray in color
  • Itchy skin
  • Lower back or belly pain in the abdomen
  • Unexplained weight loss, fatigue and loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Gallbladder or liver enlargement
  • Blood clots
  • Diabetes