Physical

Pancreatic cancer: The gastrointestinal symptoms that may mean ‘tumor is pressing on stomach’

Feeling nauseous and persistent indigestion are among the symptoms of pancreatic cancer, according to experts.

Typically diagnosed in the later stages, pancreatic cancer survival rates are much lower than other types of cancer.

According to Pancreatic Cancer Scotland, three in five people diagnosed with the cancer are diagnosed at a stage too late for curative surgery.

Scotland has one of the worst five-year pancreatic cancer survival rates.

Knowing the signs to look out for can result in an earlier diagnosis that may provide a better chance of overcoming the disease, reports the The Express.

If you notice any symptoms, book an urgent appointment with your doctor.



Pancreatic cancer cells often grow and reach a stage beyond cure before diagnosis.

Signs that cause gastrointestinal issues may be due to the “tumor pressure on the stomach”.

This may result in the feeling of nausea and, for some people, it may be so severe that they vomit.

Another possible sensation that could occur is the feeling of indigestion.

The NHS described the feeling of indigestion as feeling full, bloated, sick, alongside a burning sensation in the chest, otherwise known as heartburn.

Heartburn typically arises following a meal, and bitter-tasting fluid (from the stomach) may rise up into the mouth.

As such, one sensation this could cause is the feeling of nausea and, for some people, it can be so severe that they vomit.

Another possible sensation that could occur is the feeling of indigestion.

The NHS described the feeling of indigestion as feeling full, bloated, sick, alongside a burning sensation in the chest, otherwise known as heartburn.

Heartburn typically arises following a meal, and bitter-tasting fluid (from the stomach) may rise up into the mouth.

Indigestion is usually not a sign of anything serious, but do alert your GP if you suffer from the condition quite frequently.

Johns Hopkins Medicine added that a loss of appetite could also be a warning sign of pancreatic cancer; so too could a loss of appetite.

Three sensations warning of pancreatic cancer:

  • Loss of appetite
  • indigestion
  • nausea.

Pancreatic cancer may also lead to swelling in the abdomen and fatigue.

“Extreme tiredness may be a sign of pancreatic cancer, but it’s also a common sign of other conditions,” the experts noted.

“Either way, unexplained fatigue should not be ignored.”

Unexplained weight loss could also be a warning sign of a growing cancerous tumor.

How likely is it to be pancreatic cancer?

There are certain factors that can increase the likelihood of developing pancreatic cancer.

The informative charity Pancreatic Cancer UK said there is “good evidence” that the following may increase your risk of pancreatic cancer:

  • old age
  • tuxedo
  • obesity
  • pancreatitis
  • diabetes
  • A family history of pancreatic cancer.

While certain risk factors are non-modifiable, such as older age and a family history of the disease, other risk factors can be reduced.

For instance, maintaining or achieving a healthy weight is one way to reduce your risk of cancer.

Moreover, not smoking would be another key way to minimize the likelihood of disease.

Evidence has also highlighted that alcohol, red and processed meat, and certain blood groups could hike the risk of pancreatic cancer.

The charity elaborated: “There is some evidence that people with blood groups A, AB and B may have a higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer.

“But people with blood group O may have a lower risk. We don’t know why blood group might affect your risk, but it may be linked to genes.”

If you would like to find out more about the disease, visit Pancreatic Cancer UK.

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