Free Cancer Report

Symptoms & Side effects

Overview of Cancer Symptoms

Cancer is a collection of diseases formed due to the uncontrolled growth and division of human cells and tissues. Cancer is the second leading cause of deaths worldwide after ischaemic heart disease, responsible for one in six deaths occurring globally. These high numbers are often because the public not being aware of cancer symptoms properly. Cancer symptoms are usually not very profound, leading to most people ignoring it until the cancer reaches a later stage where treatment prognosis is poor. In this article, we will deal with the cancer symptoms of different types of cancer.
  Cancer can cause almost any sign or symptoms. The cancer symptoms rely on where the cancer is, how big it is, and how much it affects the tissues or organs. Sometimes, only when a cancer has spread (metastasized), tissues in the body display cancer symptoms.
  Cancer often starts in places where it will not cause any signs or symptoms until it has grown significantly. For example, pancreatic cancers generally do not cause health issues until they develop large enough to press on nearby nerves or organs (this triggers back pain or abdominal pain). Some can spread across the bile duct, blocking the bile flow. This results in yellowness of the skin and eyes (jaundice). By the time, a pancreatic cancer is diagnosed it is usually in an elevated level causing such signs or symptoms. This implies that it has grown and spread beyond the place it began.
  It is important to note that symptoms are helpful for us since treatments work best when cancer is found early, and if we understand the symptoms early, we can start the treatment early. Most cancer symptoms can be due to other health issues and even benign tumors, but it is always vital to be aware of the signs and get it checked when any symptoms arise to reduce the risk.

Common cancer symptoms associated with most cancer types

There are some cancer symptoms that are commonly associated with most cancer types. These are:

Unexplained weight loss:

According to the American Cancer Society, unexplained weight loss is one of the first symptoms of cancer, but it often goes unnoticed. In fact, 40% of cancer patients say they had unexplained weight loss before being diagnosed with cancer. The main reason people ignore unexplainable weight loss or why they don't connect it with cancer is because weight loss can also be due to various other reasons. Most weight loss cases are not caused by cancer, but losing more than 5 percent of your body weight within 6-12 months calls for a checkup with a doctor.

Loss of appetite:

Loss of appetite happens when you eat less than usual, doesn't feel hungry, or feel full after eating just a small amount of food. While a loss of appetite can be caused due to several conditions such as depression, tuberculosis, or even the common cold, it is always better to check with a doctor if it persists for a more extended period. Loss of appetite is most common in ovarian, lung, stomach, pancreatic, or intestinal cancer cases where patients feel like their stomachs are filled after taking very little food. The loss of appetite can lead to other conditions such as weight loss and excessive fatigue.

Feeling exhausted or excessive fatigue:

While it is normal to be tired when you have a busy schedule or lack of proper sleep, it is a cause of concern if the exhaustion doesn't recede even after getting enough rest and sleep. Likewise, if you find that you get tired too quickly while doing activities that you could easily complete earlier, it may be a sign that something is wrong. Excessive fatigue is a symptom of cancer since the abnormal growth of cancer cells use up all the energy of our body. This causes a deficiency of energy and nutrients for normal body functions, resulting in excessive fatigue. While cancer is not the only cause of extreme fatigue, it is always better to get it checked by a doctor if it persists for a longer time.

Few other general signs and cancer symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Pain
  • Changes in the skin
  • Change in bowel habits or urinary function
  • Sores not healing
  • White patches on the tongue within the mouth or white patches
  • Unexpected bleeding or discharge
  • Thickening or lumping in the breast or other parts of the body
  • Indigestion or difficulty swallowing
  • Persistent cough or hoarse voice