November is pancreatic cancer awareness month - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

November is pancreatic cancer awareness month


IOWA CITY (KWWL) -- Pancreatic cancer can be difficult to find and diagnose. There usually are no signs or symptoms during the early stages of the cancer. In addition, once the cancerous tumor grows larger and/or spreads, the symptoms often feel like symptoms of other, more common, illnesses.

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer can include:

--Unexplained weight loss

--Unexplained abdominal or back pain

--Loss of appetite

--Feeling tired

--Digestive problems such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation

--Yellowing of the skin or eyes

--Increased blood sugar

It can also be hard to see if there are problems with the pancreas because it is a small organ that lies behind the other major organs in the abdomen: the stomach, small intestine and the liver.

Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include smoking, chronic pancreatitis and having had diabetes for many years.

Learn more at, or contact Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center Cancer Information Service at the University of Iowa at 800-237-1225 or visit online at

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