Pancreatic cancer

At the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre we know that a cancer diagnosis is a life changing event. We also know that every cancer is different, just like every person is different. We are dedicated to supporting and guiding you throughout your care. On this page you can learn about symptoms of pancreatic cancer and the potential treatment pathway.

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What is pancreatic cancer?

The pancreas produces enzymes that help break down food and hormones that control blood sugar. Pancreatic cancer is abnormal cell growth in the pancreas, with 70% of cancers developing in the head of the pancreas, which is the part closest to the small bowel. 

What are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer usually does not cause symptoms until it starts affecting neighbouring organs. If you have any of the following symptoms please see your doctor. These symptoms may also occur for ailments other than cancer. Your doctor will advise if you need tests and where you should go to have these tests. 

  • Yellowish skin and eyes
  • Dark urine
  • Light-coloured bowel motions
  • Itchy skin
  • Appetite loss
  • Change in blood sugar levels
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain in the upper belly or back
  • Change in bowel motions
  • Tiredness
This information should not be used to replace medical advice.

Can I be treated at the ONJ Centre?

Once you have been diagnosed with cancer, your doctor or specialist can make a referral to the ONJ Centre for your cancer treatment. You can ask to be referred here, regardless of your insurance status or the stage of your treatment. The ONJ Centre is part of Austin Health, a leading Australian public hospital.

how to get a referral