Pancreatic cancer symptoms in males rarely show until the cancer has already progressed and spread. Therefore, pancreatic cancer is often diagnosed at later stages, which makes knowing the early warning signs helpful in leading to an earlier diagnosis. It is important to note that most symptoms of pancreatic cancer are more often the result of other medical conditions, but if you are experiencing several of these symptoms together, you should see your doctor.
What Are Common Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms in Males?
The pancreas is an organ located in the middle of the body and is shaped like a fish with a head on one end and tail on the other. Pancreatic cancer develops when endocrine or exocrine cells in the pancreas grow out of control and form tumors. Depending on which cells grow out of control, and where in the pancreas they are located, the cancer will progress differently, and the patient will experience different symptoms.
The most common pancreatic cancer symptoms in males are:
- gallbladder or liver enlargement
- belly or back pain
- nausea and vomiting
- weight loss and poor appetite
- blood clots
When the cancer blocks the bile duct, it can lead to jaundice and an enlarged gallbladder and liver. Jaundice is a yellowing of the eyes and skin, and most people with pancreatic cancer will experience jaundice as one of the first symptoms. Jaundice is caused by a blocked bile duct, leading to an excess of a substance called bilirubin to build up in the body, causing a yellowish appearance. Other signs of jaundice include dark urine, light-colored or greasy stools, and itchy skin. Jaundice is not always caused by pancreatic cancer, and is more often caused by gallstones, hepatitis or other liver and bile duct diseases.
Pancreatic Cancer Causes
Depending on where the cancer is in the pancreas, it can press on different organs and nerves leading to many different symptoms. For example, large tumors that start in the body or tail of the pancreas can start to press on other organs or nerves causing belly or back pain. If the cancer presses on the far end of the stomach, it can make it hard for food to get through, causing nausea, vomiting, pain after eating, or sometimes lack of appetite or weight loss.
Finally, other symptoms of pancreatic cancer include blood clots, and sometimes, diabetes.
All the above symptoms are often caused by other conditions than pancreatic cancer. However, if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should see a doctor to make sure the cause can be found and the symptoms are treated.