Olivia Williams discusses ‘bizarre’ symptom of pancreatic cancer
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The pancreas is a gland located behind the stomach and in the upper part of your tummy. Pancreatic cancer is the 11th most common cancer in the UK and accounts for three in 100 of all new cancer cases. There are certain symptoms that you should consult your doctor about, if you experience them.
One key thing to look out for is pale stools, according to Patient Info.
Pale poo can occur because the faeces contain no bile which causes their normal brown colour, according to the site.
Another sign to look out for is darker pee, which is also a symptom of the cancer.
This can be caused by the jaundiced blood being filtered by the kidneys.
As Pancreatic Cancer UK explains, your faeces may be pale, smelly and float.
A painless jaundice that becomes worse is often the first sign of pancreatic cancer.
Other symptoms of pancreatic cancer include pain in the back or stomach, unintended weight loss and yellowing of the skin and eyes.
How serious pancreatic cancer is and what treatment you might have depends on where it is in the pancreas, how big it is, if it has spread, and your general health.
The NHS notes that 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,” the health body states.
Give your GP a good description of your symptoms, including any changes to your bowel habits.
It can help to keep a diary of your symptoms and how often you have them.
Doctors don’t know what causes most pancreatic cancers but there are some factors that may increase your risk of developing it.
The evidence suggests you can lower your chances of getting it by making healthy lifestyle changes.
According to Cancer Research UK, around 20 out of 100 cases of pancreatic cancer in the UK are caused by smoking.
Some research has shown that exposure to second hand smoke does not increase your risk of pancreatic cancer, however.
According to the NHS, you should also cut down on how much red and processed meat you eat.
You should also try to cut down on alcohol and avoid drinking more than 14 units a week.
Older age is one of the main risk factors, with the cancer most commonly diagnosed in adults aged 75 and older.
Family history of cancer can also play a role, accounting for up to 10 percent of cases.
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