Pancreatic cancer develops when cells in your pancreas – an organ in the top part of the stomach – begin to multiply rapidly. 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. Unfortunately, survival outcomes are not as promising as some other cancers because the symptoms are often hard to spot or non-existent in the early stages. If your urine is darker than usual or your stools lighter, it could mean you may be at risk of the disease.
What is jaundice
Jaundice typically occurs more often when there’s cancer in the head of the pancreas.
This is because the cancer blocks the bile duct, the tube responsible for carrying bile into the small bowel.
When the bile duct is blocked by cancer, the bile ends up in the bloodstream and urine – and it may lead to itchiness of the skin.
Bile contains a lot of yellow pigments, hence why it can turn the skin and whites of the eyes yellow.
According to Pancreatic Cancer UK, it’s estimated that smoking causes nearly one in three pancreatic cancers in the UK.
“Your risk of pancreatic cancer increases the more you smoke, and the longer you have smoked for,” warns the charity.
Research also shows that being overweight or obese increases the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Around one in eight pancreatic cancers may be linked to being overweight or obese.
Researchers conclude that around one in six pancreatic cancer cases in the UK could be prevented if people maintained healthy weight.