Pancreatic cancer: Insulinomas is the lesser-known sign causing four symptoms to spot

Pancreatic cancer often goes undetected until it’s advanced and difficult to treat. In the vast majority of cases, symptoms only develop after the cancer has grown and begun to spread. The disease is known to affect a person’s insulin further causing four symptoms to spot.

Insulinomas make the hormone insulin, which controls the amount of blood sugar in the body, said Cancer Research UK.

The health charity added: “So doctors call them a type of functioning neuroendocrine tumour of the pancreas. 

“The most common symptoms of insulinomas are caused by changes in the blood sugar level. You usually have symptoms when your blood sugar is low.”

As the cancer grows and spreads, it could begin to affect the whole body.

Such symptoms can include:

Weight loss


Loss of appetite

Elevated blood sugars.

As it is not always clear what causes pancreatic cancer, anyone can develop this diagnosis.

But there are some groups of people that are more at risk. 

Those include people aged over 75 and individuals with certain medical conditions, for example, chronic pancreatitis.

You might also be more likely to get pancreatic cancer when there is a history of this type of cancer in your family.

In a very small number of people with pancreatic cancer, early symptoms might be present that could lead to an earlier diagnosis, said WebMD.

It added: “Unfortunately, researchers have been unable to identify any predictable pattern.

“The rarity and vagueness of these situations point out the difficulty of using early symptoms to catch pancreatic cancer.

“That said, symptoms like unintentional weight loss, persistent loss of appetite, yellowing of the eyes or skin, dark urine, or light-coloured stools should always prompt concern.”

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