Nutrition Tips

How Does Pancreatic Cancer Affect Nutrition?

duo Pancreatic cancer may keep your pancreas from making enough enzymes that help break down food and hormones that control blood sugar. As a result:
  • Food may not be digested well and the body has trouble absorbing nutrients from food
  • Diabetes may occur before or as a result of the cancer. This happens when the pancreas does not make enough insulin
Pancreatic cancer can also cause symptoms that make it hard to maintain a healthy appetite and weight. These include:
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased appetite
People with cancer may also experience pain, depression, or anxiety at times. These may also cause a loss of appetite, which can affect proper nutrition.

For help and information on depression and anxiety, see the section Mental Health: Coping With Distress.