A buildup of bilirubin, a substance found in bile, causes jaundice, which gives the skin and eyes a yellow appearance. A bile duct transports bile from the liver into the small intestine. When anything, like a pancreatic tumour, prevents the liver from releasing bile, bilirubin builds up. Jaundice, a disease that may affect people with pancreatic cancer, can cause severe itching.
Uncomfortable and chronic itchy skin is one of the major clinical signs of pancreatic cancer where a patient later notices a skin colour change. Itching as a symptom is often ignored for allergic reactions and is not a common symptom of pancreatic cancer.
As itchiness can be a symptom of a deadly disease like cancer, it is recommended to seek medical attention instead of scratching the skin.