Your chances of beating cancer are higher when it is detected early. But more often than not, we tend to ignore symptoms or are simply unaware of what they could indicate. Listed below are some general symptoms of cancer worth knowing about. See a doctor if you notice any of these symptoms lasting for long periods or getting worse.
- Unexplained Weight Loss: An unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds or more may be the first sign of cancers of the pancreas, stomach, esophagus, or lung.
- Fatigue: Extreme tiredness can be an early indicator of leukemia.
- Pain: Back pain can be a symptom of cancer of the colon, rectum, or ovary while persistent headaches may indicate the presence of a brain tumor.
- Skin Changes: Changes in the color, size, or shape of warts, moles, or freckles, hyperpigmentation, yellowish skin and eyes, redness, itching, or excessive hair growth may be symptoms of skin cancer or other cancers.
- Changes in Bowel Habits: Long-term constipation, diarrhea, or change in stool size are possible indicators of colon cancer.
- Changes in Bladder Function: Experiencing pain or having to pass urine more or less often than usual may be symptoms of bladder or prostate cancer.
- Sores that are Slow to Heal: A long-lasting sore in the mouth could be oral cancer.
- White Patches: White spots inside the mouth and on the tongue may be leukoplakia that if left untreated, can develop into mouth cancer.
- Abnormal Bleeding: Coughing up blood may be a sign of lung cancer. Vaginal bleeding may indicate cancer of the cervix or the endometrium. Bloody urine could indicate bladder or kidney cancer while bloody stool may indicate colon or rectal cancer. Breast cancer can cause bloody discharges from the nipples.
- Lumps in the Breast or Other Parts of the Body: Cancers occurring in the breast, testicle, lymph nodes (glands), and the soft tissues of the body can be felt through the skin. Check for lumps or red or thickened skin.
- Nagging Cough: Persistent coughing may be a sign of lung cancer.
- Hoarseness: An abnormal change in your voice may indicate cancer of the larynx or thyroid gland.
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