Pancreatic carcinoma is cancer of the pancreas. Pancreatic cancer is a malignant neoplasm originating from transformed cells arising in tissues forming the pancreas.
The most common type of pancreatic cancer, accounting for 95% of these tumors, is adenocarcinoma (tumors exhibiting glandular architecture on light microscopy) arising within the exocrine component of the pancreas. A minority arise from islet cells, and are classified as neuroendocrine tumors.
The signs and symptoms that eventually lead to the diagnosis depend on the location, the size, and the tissue type of the tumor, and may include abdominal pain, lower back pain, and jaundice (if the tumor compresses the bile duct).
A tumor or cancer in the pancreas may often grow without any symptoms at first. This may mean pancreatic cancer is more advanced when it is first found.
Early symptoms of pancreatic cancer include:
1. Pain or discomfort in the upper part of the belly or abdomen
2. Loss of appetite and weight loss
3. Jaundice (a yellow color in the skin, mucus membranes, or the eyes)
4. Dark urine and clay-colored stools
5. Fatigue and weakness
6. Nausea and vomiting
Other possible symptoms include:
1. Back pain
2. Blood clots
5. Difficulty sleeping