The 4 cancer symptoms you might notice after eating Christmas dinner | The Sun

WE all feel a bit worse for wear after eating Christmas dinner.

Whether it be mixing tipples, overdoing it on fatty foods or just general excessive indulging, it's normal to want to curl up on the sofa and conk out after the cheese board.

But for some, the common symptoms you experience after Christmas dinner could be a sign of something more sinister.

In fact, signs of pancreatic cancer can often overlap with that stuffed feeling you get post-festive feasting.

The killer disease has a notoriously high mortality rate, with just seven per cent of patients surviving for five years or more.

Every year, more than 10,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with the disease, with around 9,000 deaths. 

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The cancer is particularly hard to diagnose early as it does not cause any signs or symptoms at first.

It is most common in older people, with almost half of new cases diagnosed in people aged 75 or over – but this doesn't mean younger people can't develop it.

Here are the symptoms you need to watch out for, some of which might appear as just being full…

1. Feeling bloated 

According to Cancer Research UK, feeling bloated a lot could be a sign of pancreatic cancer, as digestive problems could be sparked.

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This would cause gas and bloating, and in some cases a build up of fluid in the abdomen.

It's also worth noting that bloating can be a sign of ovarian cancer.

The NHS warns suffering "a swollen tummy or feeling bloated, pain or tenderness in your tummy and having no appetite or feeling full quickly after eating", more than about 12 times a month, can all be symptoms of the disease.

2. Fluttering stomach

Another symptom that is perhaps less commonly felt post Christmas gorging, is a sense of ‘fluttering’ beneath the ribs.

A 2014 British Medical Journal report referred to patients experiencing ‘pain’ and a sense of ‘fluttering’ in their stomach ahead of a pancreatic cancer diagnosis.

Lisa Woodrow, Pancreatic Cancer Specialist Nurse at Pancreatic Cancer UK, says: “We don’t frequently hear people talk about a fluttering sensation in their abdomen, but this could be related to digestive issues caused by the pancreas not working properly. "

3. Gurgling stomach

A gurgling stomach on the other hand is often felt, or in some cases heard, in the lazy hours following Christmas dinner.

Lisa said some of her cancer patients experience a gurgling sensation.

"I wonder often if this is due to malabsorption of food due to insufficient pancreatic enzymes, thus this is often wind and digestion related," she added.

4. Digestion issues 

A loss of appetite, indigestion and nausea are also common in people with pancreatic cancer, says Cancer Research.

This is because the cancer can reduce the number of enzymes your pancreas makes which are needed to break down food.

It can also block the enzymes from getting to the bowel, which is why it can change the consistency of your poo giving you either diarrhoea or constipation.

Other key signs

There are some other important signs of the disease which you probably wouldn't associated with feeling full after your Christmas dinner.


If you notice your eyes or skin look yellow this is a sign of pancreatic cancer.

It's called jaundice and is caused by the build-up of bilirubin – bile.

This happens when a tumour blocks bile going from the gallbladder into the small intestine.

Someone with jaundice might also have itchy skin, dark urine and lighter stools.

Diabetes diagnosis

If you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes, or are suddenly finding your usually well-controlled diabetes is less so, this is something to keep an eye on.

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Research has shown onset of type 2 diabetes in people older than 50 could be an early sign of pancreatic cancer.

It's especially likely in people with a low body mass index, who are losing weight and don't have a family history of diabetes.

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