It is a yellowish coloration of the skin that typically results from liver disease. In this case, pancreatic cancer may spread to the liver or cause an obstruction to the bile duct. Jaundice is commonly seen when cancer is located on the head of the pancreas because this portion of the organ is closer to the gallbladder and the bile duct. Still, jaundice is difficult to make out and usually misleads health professionals and patients, delaying the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
The reason why pancreatic cancer causes jaundice is simple and easy to understand. After growing or spreading to the liver, pancreatic cancer starts pushing aside the gallbladder and the bile duct, it causes a blockade of the normal flow of bile, and this substance starts to build up in the blood instead of draining to the intestines. Bilirubin in the bile is then deposited in the skin and mucosa, causing this yellowish coloration.