Some common symptoms that may occur with cancer
There are Some common symptoms that may occur with cancer for all cancer patients . These are as follows:-
Persistent cough or blood-tinged saliva is one of the common symptoms of cancer. These symptoms usually represent simple infections such as bronchitis or sinusitis. They could be symptoms of cancer of the lung, head, and neck. Anyone with a nagging cough that lasts more than a month or with blood in the mucus that is coughed up should see a doctor.
A change in bowel habits. Most changes in bowel habits are related to your diet and fluid intake. Doctors sometimes see pencil-thin stools with colon cancer. Occasionally, cancer exhibits continuous diarrhea. Some people with cancer feel as if they need to have a bowel movement and still feel that way after they have had a bowel movement. If any of these abnormal bowel complaints last more than a few days, they require evaluation. A significant change in bowel habits that cannot be easily explained by dietary changes needs to be evaluated.
Blood in the stool is one of the common symptoms of cancer .A doctor always should investigate blood in your stool. Hemorrhoids frequently cause rectal bleeding, but because hemorrhoids are so common, they may exist with cancer. Therefore, even when you have hemorrhoids, you should have a doctor examine your entire intestinal tract when you have blood in your bowel movements.
With some individuals, X-ray studies may be enough to clarify a diagnosis. Colonoscopy is usually recommended. Routine colonoscopy, even without symptoms, is recommended once you are 50 years old. Sometimes when the source of bleeding is entirely clear (for example, recurrent ulcers), these studies may not be needed.
Unexplained anemia (low blood count) Anemia is a condition in which people have fewer than the expected number of red blood cells in their blood. Anemia should always be investigated. There are many kinds of anemia, but blood loss almost always causes iron deficiency anemia. Unless there is an obvious source of ongoing blood loss, this anemia needs to be explained. Many cancers can cause anemia, but bowel cancers most commonly cause iron deficiency anemia. Evaluation should include endoscopy or X-ray studies of your upper and lower intestinal tracts.
Breast lump or breast discharge is also one of the common symptoms of cancer. Most breast lumps are noncancerous tumors such as fibroadenomas or cysts. But all breast lumps need to be thoroughly investigated.A negative mammogram result is not usually sufficient to evaluate a breast lump.
Your doctor needs to determine the appropriate X-ray study which might include an MRI or an ultrasound of the breast. Generally, diagnosis requires a needle aspiration or biopsy (a small tissue sample). Discharge from a breast is common, but some forms of discharge may be signs of cancer. If discharge is bloody or from only one nipple, further evaluation is recommended. Women are advised to conduct monthly breast self-examinations.
Lumps in the testicles. Most men (90%) with cancer of the testicle have a painless or uncomfortable lump on a testicle. Some men have an enlarged testicle. Other conditions, such as infections and swollen veins, can also cause changes in your testicles, but any lump should be evaluated. Men are advised to conduct monthly testicular self-examinations.
A change in urination is one of the common symptoms of cancer. Urinary symptoms can include frequent urination, small amounts of urine, and slow urine flow or a general change in bladder function. These symptoms can be caused by urinary infections (usually in women) or, in men, by an enlarged prostate gland.
Most men will suffer from harmless prostate enlargement as they age and will often have these urinary symptoms.These symptoms may also signal prostate cancer. Men experiencing urinary symptoms need further investigation, possibly including blood tests and a digital rectal exam. The PSA blood test, its indications, and interpretation of results should be discussed with your health care provider. If cancer is suspected, a biopsy of the prostate may be needed. Cancer of the bladder and pelvic tumors can also cause irritation of the bladder and urinary frequency.
Blood in the urine. Hematuria or blood in the urine can be caused by urinary infection, kidney stones, or other causes. For some people, it is a symptom of cancer of the bladder or kidney. Any episode of blood in the urine should be investigated.
Hoarseness is one of the common symptoms of cancer. Hoarseness not caused by a respiratory infection or that lasts longer than three to four weeks should be evaluated. Hoarseness can be caused by simple allergy or by vocal cord polyps, but it could also be the first sign of cancer of the throat.
Persistent lumps or swollen glands. Lumps most frequently represent harmless conditions such as a benign cyst. A doctor should examine any new lump or a lump that won’t go away. Lumps may represent cancer or a swollen lymph gland related to cancer. Lymph nodes swell from infection and other causes and may take weeks to shrink again. A lump or gland that remains swollen for three to four weeks should be evaluated.
Obvious change in a wart or a mole. Multicolored moles that have irregular edges or bleed may be cancerous. Larger moles are more worrisome and need to be evaluated, especially if they seem to be enlarging. Removing a mole is usually simple. You should have your doctor evaluate any suspicious mole for removal. The doctor will send it for examination under a microscope for skin cancer.
Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing is one of the common symptoms of cancer. Most people with chronic heartburn usually do not have serious problems. People who suffer from chronic or lasting symptoms despite using over-the-counter antacids may need to have an upper GI endoscopy. A condition called Barrett esophagus, which can lead to cancer of the esophagus, can be treated with medication and then monitored by a doctor. Difficulty swallowing is a common problem, especially in elderly people, and has many causes. Swallowing problems need to be investigated, because nutrition is always important.Difficulty swallowing solids can be seen with cancer of the esophagus.
Unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge is another common symptoms of cancer. Unusual vaginal bleeding or bloody discharge may be an early sign of cancer of the uterus. Women should be evaluated when they have bleeding after intercourse or bleeding between periods. Bleeding that comes back, that lasts two or more days longer than expected, or that is heavier than usual also merits medical examination. Postmenopausal bleeding, unless expected on hormone therapy, is also worrisome and should be evaluated. Usually, the evaluation will include an endometrial biopsy, in which a doctor takes a small tissue sample from inside the uterus for testing. A Pap smear should be part of every woman’s routine medical care.
Unexpected weight loss, night sweats, or fever is one of the common symptoms of cancer . These nonspecific symptoms might be present with several different types of cancer. Various infections can lead to similar symptoms (for example, tuberculosis).
Continued itching in the anal or genital area. Precancerous or cancerous conditions of the skin of the genital or anal areas can cause persistent itching. Some cancers cause skin color changes. Several infections or skin conditions (for example, fungal infections or psoriasis) also can cause these symptoms. If itching does not stop with over-the-counter topical medications, your doctor should inspect the area.
Non-healing sores. Sores generally heal quickly. If an area fails to heal, you may have cancer and should see a doctor. Non-healing sores in your mouth or persistent white or red patches on your gums, tongue, or tonsils are also should raise concerns. Some non- healing sores may be due to poor circulation (for example, diabetic foot ulcers).
Headaches. Headaches have many causes (for example, migraines, aneurysms) but cancer is not a common one. A severe unrelenting headache that feels different from usual can be a sign of cancer, but aneurysms may present in the same way. If your headache fails to improve with over-the-counter medications, see a doctor promptly.
Back pain, pelvic pain, bloating, or indigestion is another common symptoms of cancer. These are common symptoms of daily life, often related to food intake, muscle spasms or strains, but they also can be seen in ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer is particularly difficult to treat, because it is frequently diagnosed late in the course of the disease.
The American Cancer Society and other organizations have been trying to make both patients and physicians more aware and consider this diagnosis if the classic symptoms are present.