In many cases, symptoms of pancreatic cancer can be mild at the beginning mainly because of the position of the pancreas. This allows a tumour to grow for a long time before causing any pain or pressure. However, there are a few possible symptoms – one of them being linked to clay-coloured stools.
Jaundice is a symptom that primarily affects your skin and the whites of your eyes, subsequently turning them yellow.
But it is also associated with making your stool look paler than usual, resembling the colour of clay.
Other signs of jaundice include darker urine and itchy skin.
This condition occurs when bilirubin, a breakdown product created in the liver, piles up in your blood.
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It travels from your gallbladder through a bile duct. When this duct becomes blocked, jaundice can arise.
In pancreatic cancer sufferers, this typically happens when the tumour in their pancreas starts obstructing the bile duct, blocking its flow.
However, there are other medical conditions that can also cause jaundice, ranging from gallstones to liver diseases.
When you are experiencing symptoms of jaundice, it is important to consult your doctor to determine the proper cause of it.
There are other possible symptoms of pancreatic cancer including:
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of weight without trying to
- Feeling tired or having no energy
- High temperature
- Feeling hot or shivery.
The NHS also lists signs that can affect your digestion such as changes in your stool, feeling sick, being bloated and pain at the top of your tummy that may feel worse when you eat or lie down.
It is possible that you are experiencing these regularly because of another diagnosis you might suffer from, affecting your stomach.
That is why it is necessary to get examined by a GP or a medical professional when you develop new symptoms or if your symptoms change and get worse.
Pancreatic cancer can be difficult to treat, but there are different options available.
There are a few things you can do to try reducing your chances of getting this disease.
The NHS recommends:
- Losing weight if you are overweight
- Cutting down on alcohol and both red and processed meat
- Quitting smoking.
Although it is not always possible to prevent pancreatic cancer, making healthy lifestyle choices could lower your chances.