What Are Signs and Symptoms of Cancer?

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Cancer sometime exhibits no traces, signs or symptoms, but most of the complaint can be explained by harmless condition to a large extent. However, it is advisable to see a doctor for further evaluation if there is a persistent of certain symptoms over a long period of time. Symptoms and signs of cancer are different depending on the part of the body affected. Some common signs and symptoms associated with, though not limited to cancer alone include:

  •  Breast discharge or lump: Special attention should be paid to breast lump as they need to be investigated from time to time. Though not all breast lumps are cancerous. In some cases, discharge from breast may be considered normal but some forms of discharge may be a symptom of cancer which may require further examination. It is highly recommended for women to consider conducting monthly breast examinations.
  • Persistent Cough/ blood-tinged saliva: Persistent cough lasting more than a month with blood in the mucus could be symptoms of cancer of the long, neck and head.
  • Discharge or unusual vaginal bleeding: Bloody discharge or unusual vagina bleeding may be a warning symptom of cancer of the uterus. It is highly recommended for women to be examined when they notice bleeding between periods or after intercourse. Routine bleeding that lasts for days or that is heavier than usual need medical examination. A pap smear should be included in every woman’s medical routine.
  • A change in bowel habits: Changes in bowel habits are mostly associated to fluid intake and diet. Sometimes, cancer tends to exhibits a continuous sign of diarrhea. Some people living with have feeling of bowel movement and they still have the same feeling even after they have had that bowel movement. Medical evaluation is greatly required if this types of abnormal bowel complaints persist for days.
  • Traces of Blood in the stool: Medical attention should be sought for traces of blood in the stool. Hemorrhoids are common and often caused rectal bleeding, but sometimes it may exist with cancer. Thus, it is advisable to see a doctor even when you have hemorrhoids that you consider harmless.

More cancer warning signs

  1. Weight loss
  2. Blood loss
  3. Fever
  4. Skin changes
  5. Night sweats
  6. Pain and tiredness
  7. Digestive changes
  8. Persistent, unexplained muscle or joint pain
  9. Lumps in the testicles
  10. Change in the urination
  11. Unexplained anemia
  12. Non-healing sores
  13. Hoarseness
  14. Difficulty swallowing
  15. Unexplained bleeding and or nursing

Most common cancers

Based on the study conducted by NCI, the most common types of cancer in the United States are the following;

  • Breast cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Bladder cancer
  • Liver cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Colon and rectal cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Non-melanoma cancer

Among all of these, lung and breast cancer has been identified as the most common, with more than 200,000 Americans diagnosed each year. In comparison to thyroid, liver and pancreatic that has fewer than 60,000 yearly reported cases.













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