Pancreatic cancer is regarded as a silent killer since it’s usually quite advanced by the time it’s discovered. A gland that makes acid to help you digest food, the pancreas is located deep in the abdomen, directly behind the stomach, which is why tumors are often hard to detect. When a cancerous tumor blocks the pancreatic duct, acid backs up and eats away the pancreas, which causes abdominal pain that can often radiate down the back.
Millions of people experience back pain, which is most often muscle-related. Yet, if you have persistent pain that is not helped by anti-inflammatory meds and/or is accompanied by yellowing skin or pale stools, see your doctor to rule out pancreatic cancer.
Lastly, pain caused by pancreatic cancer can be temporarily relieved by bending over, as opposed to typical back pain caused by sore muscles that persist in that position.
More Answers from Mehmet Oz, MD