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bowel movements
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bowel movements

is it true that an indication of cancer of the pancreas is floating stools?  Or do stools float for many different reasons.


This discussion is related to NORMAL bowel movements.
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Stool floats when there is excessive fat in it (such stool would also be whitish or pale, sticky and foul smelling). Excessive fat is from fat malabsorption and this may be due to:
- lack of bile acids in intestine due to liver disease or gallstones, or pancreatic cancer pressing on biliary duct
- lack of pancreatic enzymes due to pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer.

So, there are many other reasons for floating stools beside pancreatic cancer.

Pain in the upper middle abdomen, eventually radiating toward the back speak for pancreatic disease.

Blood pancreatic enzymes are usually elevated in pancreatic disease. Pancreatic cancer may be seen with ultrasound or CT of abdomen.
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