Potential pitfall: Jaundice can be a classic symptom of pancreatic cancer; about half of patients have jaundice when they first go to their GP. Yet, pancreatic cancer is difficult to diagnose as symptoms can vary or may be late, vague and non-specific. Helpful hint:...
Cancer Keys: RUQ Pain in Pancreatic Cancer
Latest from the Blog
Tuesday 15th September 2020 It’s World Lymphoma Awareness Day. Why not increase your knowledge and complete our free online Lymphoma – Early Diagnosis course supported by Lymphoma Action? Lymphoma has many non-site specific symptoms and patients can often visit...
Potential pitfall: A negative bowel screening test should not be used to make decisions about referral in a symptomatic patient. Sensitivity levels have been set very differently for screening and symptomatic Faecal Immunochemical Tests (FIT). Helpful hint: The...
Potential pitfall: Fatigue is a common presenting problem in primary care, and yet it is important to remember that fatigue can represent a more serious condition. Many patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) have few or no symptoms at the time they are...
Pancreatic cancer diagnoses can be missed due to the non-site specific nature of some early symptoms. However, according to CRUK, up to 70% of patients with pancreatic cancer initially visit the doctor with upper abdominal or back pain.
Pain often presents in the right upper quadrant (RUQ pain). It can begin as general discomfort, such as pressure under the ribs or pain in the abdomen radiating to the back, similar to a pulled muscle or stomach cramps. Patients may note that sitting forward can sometimes relieve the pain but can worsen when lying down or after eating, especially with fatty foods.
In line with NICE guidelines, the presentation of back or abdominal pain in people aged 60 and over combined with weight loss should be considered for an urgent direct access CT scan to assess for pancreatic cancer (to be performed within 2 weeks), or an urgent ultrasound scan if CT is not available.
Cancer Keys are brought to you by GatewayC.
Download this Cancer Key here.
Access GatewayC’s course on early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer here.