Pancreatic cancer

What are the facts?


What are the risk factors to be aware of?

Pancreatic cancer often doesn’t cause symptoms in the early stages. As the cancer grows, it may start to cause symptoms. The symptoms may not be specific to pancreatic cancer, and they may come and go to begin with. This can make pancreatic cancer hard to diagnose.

Common symptoms can include any of the following:

  • a stomach or back-ache

  • unintended weight loss

  • indigestion

  • jaundice

  • loss of appetite

  • changes to bowel habits

  • Feeling bloated, burping or wind, feeling sick

  • Blood clots

  • Fatigue

Action to take:


Your GP  will need to rule out all the possible causes for your symptoms. This means that you will need several different tests to help diagnose pancreatic cancer and it may take some time to get a diagnosis. You may have different tests at different times.


Your hospital will give you detailed information on the tests you will need and where you will need to go for your appointments.

Emotional impacts of a cancer diagnosis

Cancer diagnosis and treatment can impact on a person's emotional state and depending on your own personal journey, around 20-30% of people living with cancer report long-term psychological problems including depression more than 5 years after a cancer diagnosis.  Whilst it's difficult, it is important to talk about your feelings during this time to someone and don't feel alone on your cancer journey. Read our latest blog 


Resources: - Cancer Research UK