Jaundice, or the yellowing of the skin and eyes, is common to those suffering from pancreatic cancer. Jaundice develops when there are excessive levels of bilirubin in the bloodstream, or when a liver bile duct becomes blocked by a tumor. Even though jaundice creates relatively little physical discomfort, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Jaundice can also be caused by numerous other factors, including infectious diseases and liver problems. Your doctor will likely begin by investigating and ruling out these more common causes before doing any cancer tests.
One of the major complications of jaundice is inflammation of the pancreas, which can lead to nonspecific but persistent and potentially severe abdominal pain. Your doctor may suspect pancreatic cancer if your jaundice is accompanied by these types of pain symptoms. Sepsis, liver failure, renal failure and problems with coagulation can also result from extended and severe cases of jaundice.