The importance of the symptoms and signs of undiagnosed cancer is constantly emphasized by numerous health experts.
This is due to the fact that if diagnosed in its early stages, cancer is more easily treated and the chances to be cured are bigger. Even though these signs may not indicate cancer, fortunately, yet, it is of high importance not to ignore them, but check your condition as soon as possible.
There are more than 200 different cancer types, including breast, ovarian, endometrial, prostate, lung, bladder, colorectal, pancreatic, and kidney (renal), as well as melanoma and leukemia.
Mostly due to the fact that they are commonly diagnosed when in advanced stages, these cancers have low survival rate. Hence, read on to learn the most common warning symptoms of cancer and prevent further complications:
Sudden weight loss
In the case of solid tumors, such as breast and lung cancer, the person may experience sudden weight loss. This is due to the fact that as soon as cancer goes to the liver, it weakens its function, which is to eliminate toxins and regulate the appetite. Moreover, weight loss may also result from colon cancer as well.
This is a common symptom of cancer, as:
- 40 % of cancer patients suddenly lose weight before or during the period of the diagnosis
- 80 % of patients suddenly lose weight in advanced stages
Shortness of Breath or Wheezing
Wheezing and being out of breath may be symptoms of various conditions, linked to a tumor in the lungs. Namely, in the case of lung cancer, the tumor presses and narrows the airway, leading to a wheezing sound.
Constant infections or fevers
A fever may be caused by an infection, but persistent and prolonged fever may also indicate cancer, such as lymphoma. Additionally, leukemia, which is in fact cancer of the blood cells, leads to flu-like signs, including infections, fevers, aches, fatigue and so on.
Chest pain and persistent cough
There are times when the signs of cancer, such as leukemia or lung cancer, may resemble the ones of a cough or bronchitis. The person may experience chest pain which is extended towards the arm or the shoulder.
Additionally, if you suffer from a persistent cough or you have a hoarse voice, and you do not smoke, visit your doctor and check your condition, as you may have esophageal, lung, thyroid or laryngeal cancer.
Exhaustion and weakness
You should consult your doctor in case your weakness or fatigue does not reduce after getting enough sleep and rest.
Blood in the stool may be a sign of bowel cancer, and blood in the urine can be an indication of UTI, which can be a result of kidney or bladder cancer.
Also, bleeding between periods or bleeding after menopause may indicate uterine and endometrial cancer. Colorectal cancer may lead to bleeding from the GI tract.
In the case of leukemia, the person may experience immoderate bruising and bleeding, and coughing up blood may be a sign of esophageal, while vomiting blood may indicate stomach cancer.
Especially in the case of older people, the change in the bowel movements which persists longer than a month is a symptom of bowel cancer.
Unusual lumps or swelling
You should never ignore lumps on the testicles, neck, underarms, groin, breasts, abdomen, or other body parts, especially if they stay more than three weeks. Furthermore, in the case of breast cancer, a person may have enlarged lymph node or lump, swellings, redness, and soreness.
In the case of a throat or esophageal cancer, the person may have troubles swallowing or may feel that there is a food in the chest or throat that aggravates over time. Moreover, other common signs are pain and burning sensation while swallowing.
Pelvic or abdominal pain
Pain in the lower abdomen or in the pelvic area, with pelvic heaviness, may be a symptom of ovarian cancer.
Commonly, women who have never conceived, have had breast, ovarian, or colorectal cancer run in the family and who have previously been diagnosed with colon, breast, uterine, or rectum cancer at an increased risk.