Cancer warning: Steatorrhoea in your poo can signal pancreatic cancer warns Macmillan

Olivia Williams discusses ‘bizarre’ symptom of pancreatic cancer

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One of the symptoms of pancreatic cancer is jaundice.

Jaundice occurs when bile cannot drain away.

As a result this can cause a type of poo that is difficult to flush away.

This is known as steatorrhoea.

Other signs of jaundice are:
• Yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes
• Itchy skin
• Dark yellow urine.

Jaundice isn’t the only symptom of pancreatic cancer.

A person may also experience pain and discomfort that begins in the upper part of the abdomen; this pain sometimes spreads to the back.

However, Macmillan Cancer says: “Remember, cancer is not the cause of the most pain in the abdomen. But you should see your doctor if you are worried.”

The message here is that it is far better to get something checked and for it to be nothing than to leave it and to find out months later something could have been done about it.

As well as jaundice and abdominal pain symptoms of pancreatic cancer that can appear are:
• Weight loss
• Feeling sick
• Losing appetite
• Indigestion
• Feeling bloated after meals
• Having diarrhoea or changing bowel habits (also a symptom of bowel cancer)
• Feeling very tired
• Being newly diagnosed with diabetes
• Getting a blood clot in the leg.

As with abdominal pain, Macmillan Cancer say: “Most people with these symptoms will not have pancreatic cancer.

“More common conditions can be causing them. But if you have any symptoms, it is important to get them checked by a doctor.”

The key message is awareness of what symptoms could be despite their apparent innocuousness.

This applies to all forms of cancer which, if left long enough, can become deadly.

One cancer where awareness is particularly key is the most common male cancer, prostate cancer.

Although there is a lot of focus on male cancers during November, there is less focus during the rest of the year.

Charities such as Prostate Cancer UK are working to change this.

For more information on cancer contact the NHS or consult with your GP.

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