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Itchy Skin is a Sign of Pancreatic Cancer; Pancreatic Cancer Action Says

Itchy skin
"Pruritus' or itchy skin is a sign of having pancreatic cancer. (Photo: Healthline)

The Pancreatic Cancer Action in the United Kingdom said that itchy skin or “pruritus” is one of the signs of having pancreatic cancer.

Itchy skin

“Pruritus’ or itchy skin is a sign of having pancreatic cancer. (Photo: Healthline)

“Pruritus” or Itchy Skin

The main function of the pancreas is to create enzymes to help digest food and create hormones like insulin to control the level of blood sugar. However, Pancreatic cancer does not show any signs or symptoms during the early stages just like any other medical condition.

“Pruritus” is the medical term for itchy skin. According to the Pancreatic Cancer Action, having itchy skin is a sign that a person might have Pancreatic cancer. They said, “Pruritus is itching of the skin when you are jaundiced.”

Additionally, they added “The itch is caused by a buildup of bile salts in the blood when the bile ducts are blocked or the liver is not working properly. This can also make the skin feel hot and uncomfortable.”

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Treatment of Itchy Skin

Pancreatic cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United Kingdom. In fact, data shows that this has one of the lowest survival rates in the UK. Only 7 percent of people living with pancreatic cancer survive after five years of diagnosis.

EXPRESS reports that “pruritus” can be treated. Pancreatic Cancer Action said, “Jaundice caused by a tumour blocking the tubes that drain bile from the liver and gall bladder into the bowel (obstructive jaundice) can be treated in several ways”.

The treatment includes the following:

  • The insertion of a plastic or metal stent in the bile duct
  • Surgery to remove the tumour
  • Surgical bypass of the blockage

Meanwhile, there are other ways to treat or control itchy skin. This includes taking antihistamines and a medicine called cholestyramine. This will help the body to excrete excess bile salts.

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