Pancreatic Cancer: Signs and Symptoms

When pancreatic cancer spreads, it commonly passes first to the liver. This can also cause jaundice.

In addition to yellowing of the eyes and skin, other signs of jaundice include:

  • Pale or greasy stools: Bilirubin normally helps to give stools its brown color. If the bile duct is blocked, the stool may appear gray or light in color. Also, if bile and pancreatic enzymes cannot reach the intestines to help break down fats, the stool can become greasy and can float in the toilet.
  • Dark urine: Sometimes urine with a darker color is the first sign of jaundice. As bilirubin levels increase in the blood, the urine turns a brown color.
  • Itchy skin: When bilirubin builds up on the skin, it turns yellow and begins to itch.

Pancreatic cancer is not the most common cause of jaundice. Other causes, such as gallstones, hepatitis, and other diseases of the liver and bile duct are much more common causes.

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