Worried about pancreatic cancer?

This section is for people who are worried about pancreatic cancer. We explain the symptoms and risk factors for pancreatic cancer, and what to do if you are worried about symptoms.

Key facts

  • The symptoms of pancreatic cancer include pain in your tummy or back, losing weight without meaning to, loss of appetite, indigestion, jaundice (yellow eyes and skin), and changes to your bowel habits.
  • Pancreatic cancer often doesn’t cause symptoms in the early stages. As the cancer grows, it may start to cause symptoms. Any symptoms may be vague, and may come and go to begin with.
  • If you have jaundice, go to your GP or A&E straight away.
  • If you have any of the other symptoms and you don’t know why you have them, go to your GP or contact NHS 111. NHS 111 will give you advice and arrange for you to talk to a doctor if you need to.
  • Risk factors for pancreatic cancer include age, smoking, being overweight, pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), and diabetes.
  • You may need several tests to diagnose pancreatic cancer.
  • Sometimes, pancreatic cancer may run in a family. This isn’t common – it’s less than one in ten (10%) of pancreatic cancers.
  • People with a strong family history of pancreatic cancer might be able to have screening.

Just diagnosed?

If you have recently been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, find out more about what your diagnosis means.

Just diagnosed with pancreatic cancer

Speak to our nurses

If you have questions or worries about pancreatic cancer or symptoms, you can contact our specialist nurses on our free Support Line.

Speak to our nurses
A specialist nurse taking a phone call.

Published September 2022

To be reviewed September 2024