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12 Symptoms of Cancer that You Need to Watch for Early

Symptoms of Cancer that You Need to Watch for Early

Malignant tumours or cancer are the second most common cause of death globally. This disease occurs due to abnormal cell growth that attacks anyone, both children, and adults, to the elderly. Do you know the common symptoms of cancer that need to be checked immediately at the hospital? Come on, learn more in the following review. 

Common signs and symptoms of cancer 
There are different types of cancer, depending on which body cells are damaged.  Each type of cancer can cause different symptoms. That is why the characteristics of people affected by cancer are very diverse. 

Some cancer cases do not even show symptoms until an advanced stage or when the condition is severe. 

There are many common cancer symptoms that people with cancer feel. Here are various signs that you can recognize. 

1. Drastic weight loss for no reason 
Weight loss without a clear cause, for example, what happens when you are not on a diet, can be one of the common symptoms of cancer. 

According to Cancer Research UK, about 60 out of 100 people with cancer experience a loss of appetite and weight loss. 

Weight loss generally occurs in people with oesophagal cancer, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, or other organs in the upper gastrointestinal tract. 

In addition, people with bone cancer tend to have a body that gets tired quickly and loses weight for no apparent reason. 

2. Fever 
Fever is another sign of cancer that you need to be aware of. Fever is often the first symptom in people with blood cancers, such as leukaemia or lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes). 

However, a fever can also signify that cancer cells are starting to spread to other surrounding tissues in different cancer types. 

Common symptoms of this malignant tumour may appear and disappear but are persistent alias that lasts in the long term. 

3. The body feels tired
Symptoms of fatigue generally appear when cancer cells begin to grow and spread. However, in leukaemia patients, this can be an early disease symptom. 

Quoted from the Mayo Clinic, some types of cancer stimulate the release of proteins called cytokines. Protein is what makes your body experience fatigue. 
Fatigue can also be caused by cancer cells weakening muscles, altering hormone performance, and reducing organ function to take up more energy. 
In addition to the symptoms themselves, severe fatigue can also occur as a side effect of cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy. 

4. Pain in the body 
Pain is most likely a symptom of bone or testicular cancer, especially in the affected body. In the case of ovarian cancer or colorectal cancer, back pain also indicates that cancer cells have metastasized or spread to other healthy tissues. 

Meanwhile, there is pain in the area around the head in people with brain cancer that generally does not disappear. This condition may improve after taking pain medication, but it can keep coming back. 

5. Swollen lymph nodes 
Lymph nodes are part of the human immune system that helps fight infection. When an infection occurs, the lymph nodes will swell. Likewise, when the body is "attacked" by the growth of abnormal cancer cells. 

Therefore, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin need to be aware of. 

Swelling of these glands can be a sign or symptom of cancer, especially lymph cancer or lymphoma. 

6. Coughing up blood 
People with lung cancer will generally experience a cough that doesn't go away or gets worse over time. Sometimes, coughing can also be accompanied by blood. 

The condition you are experiencing can also occur accompanied by discomfort or chest pain. People with throat cancer can experience similar symptoms, especially in breathing problems such as hoarseness and sore throat.

7. Difficulty swallowing 
The characteristic of oesophagal cancer or the most common oesophagus is difficulty swallowing. The oesophagus is the entry point for food into the oesophagus. 

The symptoms you experience may appear occasionally. However, over time symptoms can worsen as the oesophagal passage narrows due to cancer. 

This will make you have less appetite, making you lose weight drastically. 

8. Digestive 
disorders Digestive disorders that you often experience, such as heartburn, nausea, and vomiting, maybe one of the early symptoms of gastric cancer.
Other symptoms such as a stomach that is full quickly even though you have just eaten a little, decreased appetite, and weight loss you also need to watch out for. 

While colorectal cancer attacks the colon and rectum, the characteristics include constipation, diarrhoea, or prolonged bloody stools. 

9. Changes in urination habits
This change in urination habits that become more frequent or less frequent than usual can be caused by bladder cancer. 

Other types of cancer, such as kidney cancer, can also cause pain and blood in your urine when you urinate. 

Meanwhile, men with prostate cancer will urinate more frequently at night. You may also take a long time to pass urine. 

10. Changes in skin colour 
Cancer that attacks skin cells can also cause changes in skin colour. Symptoms of this cancer you can see and observe with the naked eye. 

Skin changes are usually indicated by darker skin colour (hyperpigmentation), yellowish skin and eyes (jaundice), redness of the skin, and itching for no apparent reason. 

Skin cancer can also cause symptoms in the form of wounds that do not heal. This type of cancer also causes leukoplakia, white patches associated with oral cancer. 

Wounds that do not heal on the genitals also show penile cancer and vaginal cancer symptoms.

11. Lumps or other marks on the skin 
The appearance of a skin lump is the most characteristic feature of skin cancer. These lumps arise due to cells that divide uncontrollably and accumulate. 

Abnormal moles can also be a symptom of skin cancer. These black spots are initially small, but they change shape, enlarge, become red, and become painful over time. 

In addition, breast lumps are also a typical symptom of breast cancer in women and men. Lumps that appear in the area around the vulva (the outside of the vagina) can also signify vaginal cancer. 

12. Unusual bleeding outside of menstruation 
Women should be careful when experiencing unusual bleeding, especially outside of the menstrual cycle and accompanied by severe pain. 

These can be the characteristics of endometrial cancer and cervical cancer (neck of the womb). 

These symptoms will make the menstrual cycle messy or abnormal. If you experience this, try to check your menstrual cycle with a fertility calculator. 

Postmenopausal bleeding also needs to be watched out for. In addition, vaginal discharge and an unpleasant smell can also be a symptom of cervical and vaginal cancer. 

Early detection and diagnosis of cancer 
If you experience symptoms suspected of being cancer, you should immediately go to the hospital. 
Your doctor will ask you to undergo cancer tests to make a diagnosis. 

In addition to diagnosing disease, this medical test also aims for the early detection of people who are at high risk of developing cancer. Here are some recommended health tests. 
  • Physical examination: an examination by looking at the symptoms and personal and family medical history related to cancer risk. 
  • Laboratory tests: examination through blood tests to see abnormal measurement values. 
  • Imaging tests: a series of examinations, such as ultrasound, MRI, CT scan, and PET scan, to look inside the body to determine the location and size of the tumour. Biopsy: a procedure for taking tissue samples suspected of being cancer cells in the body for re-examination in the laboratory.

After being diagnosed with cancer, it's natural to feel sad and disappointed with the results. 

It's okay if you need time to receive a diagnosis from a doctor. However, do not let this continue to drag on and interfere with your health. 

Some of the initial efforts you can make to deal with cancer are increasing your knowledge of related diseases, seeking support, maintaining health, and building life expectancy to motivate yourself while undergoing treatment. 


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