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Pancreatic Cancer

Terrifed!

11/06/2007

Question:

Dear Dr., We lost a friend this year from Pancreatic Cancer. He was only in his 40s. Now me being terrified, Last week I started getting pain in my upper right back upon deep breaths. OF course I search the lovely internet, and discovered a site which stated upper back pain for Pancreatic cancer. Well the pain is now in the upper and center of my back. I dont usually have any abdominal pain, but sometimes a little nausea. My question is, can pancreatic cancer symptoms just be in the back alone, or do the pain symptoms usually start in the upper abdomen, radiating to the back? I am just wondering if the warrants an xray or CT scan. I am a non-smoking female age 41 Thank you dr,

Answer:

Back pain can be due to multiple causes. The most common is arthritis/musculoskeletal pain originating in your spine. Although pancreas cancer can cause back pain it is not a usual way for it to present. Most people with pancreas cancer first have jaundice, abdominal pain, weight loss etc... Certainly, if you are concerned with your symptoms, you should have yourself evaluated by a physician.

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Response by:

Syed A Ahmad, MD Syed A Ahmad, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati