1. Yellowing of the Skin and the Whites of the Eyes – Jaundice
Jaundice causes many effects on the skin; one of the most noticeable is the yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes. This symptom can be synonymous with several medical problems, such as alcoholism, liver failure, and one of the warning signs of pancreas problems.
In general, the liver produces a liquid called bile, and it contains bilirubin (a yellow-brown substance) that helps break down fats and route them through the pancreas, through the common bile duct, to the small intestine.
When the bile duct is blocked (by the action of a tumor, for example), bile cannot reach the intestines, and the amount of bilirubin accumulates in various regions of the body – hence the change in skin color.
Cancers that start in the head of the pancreas are very close to the common bile duct, hence the need to be alert to pancreas health. Keep in mind that there are cancers that also develop on the body and tail of the pancreas, and they may not put pressure on the bile duct. They can even spread to other organs, such as the liver, for example.