Part of the reason survival rates are so low is that identifying pancreatic cancer early is difficult as stated by Andrew Hendifar, MD, co-director of pancreas oncology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Early detection is also tough when it comes to non-cancer pancreas problems, says Ted Epperly, MD, president of Family Medicine Residency of Idaho. Here are the possible warning signs:

1. Your stool is light coloured and floating is a sign of poor nutrient absorption.
2. Abdominal pain that starts in your middle and later creeping into your mid or lower back and if it lingers for weeks, that may be a sign of pancreatic cancer.
3. Sudden changes in diabetes status without an obvious explanation and facing difficulty in managing it.
4. Nausea and vomiting are symptoms to watch out for, particularly if you have been eating fatty foods.

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