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Coping with pancreatic cancer diet symptoms

Pancreatic cancer can cause problems with your digestion and diet. You may find this hard to deal with and it can affect how you feel. Food is an important part of everyday life for many people, and eating with friends and family can be an important social activity.

Some people find that worries about eating and symptoms can affect their mood – for example, they may feel more anxious or down than usual. People often worry about losing a lot of weight, losing their appetite and feeling pressured to eat more than they can manage. If you have lost weight you may also worry about how you look.

Symptoms such as diarrhoea or sickness can be stressful and make it harder to eat. You may worry about going out in case you can’t find a toilet when you need it. Macmillan Cancer Support has a toilet card that helps you access toilets in places like cafes and shops when you are out.

Your family may also worry about you, and whether you are eating enough. But they can also be a huge support. Try talking to them about how you feel, and things that you might find helpful. For example, some people need smaller meals and more snacks. Others find that the smell of food makes them feel sick, so it helps if someone else cooks.

You may find speaking with others in a similar situation helpful. We have an online discussion forum where you can speak to others affected by pancreatic cancer. We also hold Living with Pancreatic Cancer Support Days which provide face to face support.

Finding ways to manage your diet and symptoms can help you feel more in control.  If you are struggling at all, speak to your dietitian, doctor or nurse. They can provide emotional support as well as medical care. You can also speak to our specialist nurses on our free Support Line.

Find more information on pancreatic cancer

Find out who can support you in managing your diet symptoms.

Read about why pancreatic cancer cause problems with digestion

Find out how to manage problems with digestion with pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy

Read our tips on managing your diet if you have pancreatic cancer

Read more about coping with pancreatic cancer and how to get support. 

Updated January 2020

Review date January 2023

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