Main symptoms of pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer may not have any symptoms, or they might be hard to spot.
Symptoms of pancreatic cancer can include:
- the whites of your eyes or your skin turn yellow (jaundice), and you may also have itchy skin, darker pee and paler poo than usual
- loss of appetite or losing weight without trying to
- feeling tired or having no energy
- a high temperature, or feeling hot or shivery
Other symptoms can affect your digestion, such as:
- feeling or being sick
- diarrhoea or constipation, or other changes in your poo
- pain at the top part of your tummy and your back, which may feel worse when you're eating or lying down and better when you lean forward
- symptoms of indigestion, such as feeling bloated
If you have another condition like irritable bowel syndrome, you may get symptoms like these regularly.
You might find you get used to them. But it's important to be checked by a GP if your symptoms change, get worse or do not feel normal for you.
Urgent advice: Get advice from 111 now if:
- the whites of your eyes or your skin turn yellow
- you're being sick for more than 2 days
- you have diarrhoea for more than 7 days
- you have symptoms that you're worried about, but are not sure where to get help
111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.
Non-urgent advice: See a GP if you have:
- lost a noticeable amount of weight over the last 6 to 12 months without trying
- other symptoms of pancreatic cancer that get worse or do not get better after 2 weeks
- a condition that causes symptoms with your digestion that are not getting better after 2 weeks of using your usual treatments
Many of these symptoms are very common and can be caused by many different conditions.
Having them does not definitely mean you have pancreatic cancer. But it's important to get them checked by a GP.
This is because if they're caused by cancer, finding it early makes it more treatable.
What happens at the GP appointment
The GP may feel your tummy.
They may ask you to give a pee sample or have a blood test.
The GP may refer you to see a specialist in hospital for more tests if they think you have a condition that needs to be investigated.
This may be an urgent referral, usually within 2 weeks, if you have certain symptoms. This does not definitely mean you have cancer.
Find out more
Page last reviewed: 05 May 2020
Next review due: 05 May 2023