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African-American Patient Guide
Educational Module

What are the signs/symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

(3 of 12 sections)
See table of contents for more!

CLICK HERE for the extended version of this section 

*put your mouse on underlined words to read their description

There are many vague signs and symptoms that are linked to pancreatic cancer. If you have the symptoms listed below, it does NOT necessarily mean that you have pancreatic cancer.


  • Decreased appetite
  • Upset stomach (“indigestion”)
  • Changes in your poop: noticing that your poop is more oily, smelly, or lighter in color than usual
  • Pain: having lots of pain in the middle of your stomach (this pain might also move to your back)
  • Fatigue: feeling more tired than usual for a long time
  • Weight loss: losing weight quickly without trying



If the cancer tumor is blocking the tube from the gall bladder, your skin and eyes can turn a yellowish color and itch. Also, your urine may be darker color and your poop may become a much lighter color. This is known as jaundice.

Written by: Jasmine Mitchell, University of California Santa Barbara

Edited by: Dale O’Brien, MD, Cancer Patients Alliance

Formatting and content by: Raewyn O’Haire, AB, Cancer Patients Alliance

Consultant: Neil Atam, University of California Santa Barbara

Top Reference

Pancreatic resection: a key component to reducing racial disparities in pancreatic adenocarcinoma
Click Here

Click Here for the ACS Journal article