Olivia Williams discusses ‘bizarre’ symptom of pancreatic cancer
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Pancreatic cancer starts anywhere in the long, flat gland tucked behind your stomach, also known as the pancreas. While the location of the deadly condition often stirs up symptoms that strike in your tummy, signs like night hyperhidrosis shouldn’t be taken lightly either, according to a case report.
From the loss of appetite to your skin turning yellow, pancreatic cancer can present with various warning signs.
However, a research paper, published in the journal Medicine, reports that a 63-year-old man with pancreatic cancer suffered very different symptoms.
Alongside daily fevers and fatigue, one of the key symptoms experienced by the patient was night hyperhidrosis.
Night hyperhidrosis, or night sweats, describes sweating so much that your clothes and bedding turn soaking wet, according to the NHS.
READ MORE: Acholic stools are ‘the most common’ sign of pancreatic cancer in ‘initial’ stages
This sign isn’t dependent on the temperature of the room where you slumber as you will still experience hyperhidrosis even in a cool environment.
While it’s normal to sweat when your room is stuffy and hot, experiencing night sweats otherwise could be pointing to an underlying medical issue.
The man in the case report experienced these symptoms for two months after which he was referred to a hospital.
The 63-year-old also struggled with loss of appetite and weight loss of five kilos.
However, he denied experiencing other telltale signs of pancreatic cancer such as abdominal pain, diarrhoea, chills and jaundice.
Following tests, laboratory findings revealed that the man’s symptoms were pointing to the deadly disease which originated in the pancreatic head.
The researchers concluded that the tumour was the “likely” cause of fever and night sweats.
While signs like high temperature are considered “rare” in regards to pancreatic cancer, the team said that this condition could still present with these symptoms.
READ MORE: Steatorrhoea is ‘key’ symptom of pancreatic cancer that strikes on the toilet – expert
What other symptoms does pancreatic cancer cause?
The NHS explains that pancreatic cancer doesn’t always spur on symptoms, which can make the condition hard to spot.
If symptoms do appear, they can include these problems:
- The whites of your eyes or your skin turn yellow (jaundice)
- Loss of appetite or losing weight without trying to
- Feeling tired or having no energy
- High temperature, or feeling hot or shivery
- Feeling or being sick
- Diarrhoea or constipation, or other changes in your poo
- Pain at the top part of your tummy and your back, which may feel worse when you’re eating or lying down and better when you lean forward
- Symptoms of indigestion (such as feeling bloated).
The health service urges seeing a GP if your symptoms “change, get worse or do not feel normal for you”.
How to reduce your risk of pancreatic cancer
Between a healthy diet and quitting smoking, there are various lifestyle habits that can reduce your risk of the scary condition.
The man in the case study was a smoker of 45 years and this activity is considered a major driver for any cancer type.
Your diet should be packed with colourful fruit and veg and whole grains – think brown rice and whole-wheat flour – according to the Mayo Clinic.
The health portal also recommends that you maintain or ensure a healthy weight through exercise and an effective diet.
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