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New Symptoms ID'd That May Indicate Pancreatic Cancer

Additional symptoms can be used to update QCancer, a risk prediction model that helps physicians identify patients at high risk for cancer

New Symptoms ID'd That May Indicate Pancreatic Cancer
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THURSDAY, Nov. 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- New symptoms associated with pancreatic cancer include feeling thirsty and having dark urine, according to a study presented at the National Cancer Research Institute Festival.

Weiqi Liao, Ph.D., from University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues used data from the QResearch database to identify patients aged 25 years or older who were diagnosed with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC; 23,640 patients) or neuroendocrine neoplasms (PNEN; 596 patients) from 2000 to 2017.

The researchers identified 23 symptoms that were significantly associated with PDAC and nine symptoms with PNEN, although there were some overlapping symptom profiles. For both tumors, jaundice and gastrointestinal bleeding were the two alarming symptoms. Two new symptoms identified for PDAC included thirst and dark urine. With PNEN, unintentional weight loss may be seen for more than two years before diagnosis.

"These new findings enable us to conduct further work on understanding symptoms that could suggest pancreatic cancer. This will help general practitioners to make decisions about who to refer for urgent tests, especially when patients have several seemingly nonspecific symptoms," Liao said in a statement. "When pancreatic cancer is diagnosed earlier, patients have a higher chance of survival. It is possible to diagnose patients when they visit their general practitioner, but both patients and general practitioners need to be aware of the symptoms associated with pancreatic cancer."

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