NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Pancreatic Cancer, Version 1.2017
Doctors need to assess your health and learn
about your symptoms. Keep in mind, symptoms of
pancreatic cancer (such as abdominal discomfort)
can overlap with many other medical conditions.
Some people with pancreatic cancer may have one
symptom or many at one time. Early on, pancreatic
cancer may not show any signs or symptoms at all.
See Guide 2
for a list of possible symptoms.
Guide 2. Symptoms
• Weight loss
• Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)
• Floating stools
• Pain in the belly (abdomen) or back
• Indigestion (eg, heartburn, pain, fullness in belly)
Your doctor may think you have this cancer when he
or she finds something abnormal on a routine blood
test, or there are signs of cancer on a routine imaging
test. He or she will also consider any symptoms you
share that could be caused by pancreatic cancer.
Doctors may consider screening for people at high-
risk for pancreatic cancer. People considered at
high risk include those with a family history or known
inherited genetic mutation for pancreatic cancer.
Screening is when tests are done on a regular basis
to detect a disease in someone without symptoms.
Currently, there is no general screening test for
It is important to tell the doctor how you are feeling
during your visit or call if you have any symptoms.
If you are having symptoms, ask what tests you will
have and why they are being done. If your doctor
suspects pancreatic cancer, he or she may order
tests to get more information about your health. This
may include blood tests and imaging tests. Find out
more about testing for pancreatic cancer in Part 2.
About pancreatic cancer