How does pancreatic cancer affect digestion?
Pancreatic cancer can affect how well your body can digest food.
Pancreatic cancer can reduce the number of enzymes that your pancreas makes. It can also block the enzymes from getting to the bowel, where they are needed for digestion. For example, the cancer can block the pancreatic duct, which carries the enzymes from the pancreas to the small intestine.
Having surgery to remove all or part of the pancreas may also affect the number of enzymes that the pancreas makes.
This means that food is not properly digested, and the nutrients in the food aren’t absorbed. This is called malabsorption. It can be managed with pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT). You might have heard of Creon, which is a type of PERT.