Signs and symptoms are both the signals of any disease or illness taking place in a body. It is important to be alarmed or aware of any unusual change that takes place. And it can be understood if you know how your body normally feels and looks.
The sign is a gesture or event that can be seen by someone else. He/she could be your family member or a healthcare professional. Like fever or blood pressure.
The symptom is a signal that is observed by the person who is suffering from that problem and might not be noticed easily by anyone else. For example, weakness, pain, etc.
Understanding The Sign And Symptoms Of Cancer:
Having one symptom or sign isn’t enough in knowing the cause of any problem. Some signs together indicate the specificity of an illness. But if the signs and symptoms are not enough in indicating the disease then Medical tests are advised like Blood CP, X-Rays, LFTs (Liver Function Test), etc.
Spotting cancer early is significant as in this way there are more chances of treatment to be successful. So it is highly advised to seek medical attention as soon as you find any unusual sign in your body.
How are the Signs and Symptoms Caused by Cancer:
Cancer is a group of diseases that can cause any signs or symptoms in the body that is unusual for a normal body mechanism. Although the signs and symptoms depend upon:
- Location of cancer
- Size of the cancer
- Metastasis (how much cancer has spread to organs or tissues)
As cancer grows, it involves more and more tissues, organs, blood vessels and nerves nearby and pushes them. This pressure leads to some signs and symptoms of cancer. Those cancers that are in the sensitive areas of the body as in the case of brain tumor, the smallest of a tumor may display immediate signs and symptoms.
On the other hand, there are some cancers that do not show symptoms until cancer has grown big enough. As in the case of pancreatic cancer, cancer starts on to press the nearby organs and vessels and even block the flow of bile leading to jaundice (eyes and skin look pale and yellow). Till the signs and symptoms appear, cancer is generally in advanced stages.
Cancer might also cause fatigue (tiredness), fever or weight loss. It is because cancer cells use much of the energy supply. Cancer also affects the immune system to present certain symptoms to appear.
Some cancer cells release certain substances in the bloodstream that produce symptoms other than cancer symptoms. As in pancreatic cancer, pancreas release substances that cause clots to form in the legs. Few lung cancers make hormone-like substances that increase the calcium levels in the blood that in turn affects nerves and muscles causing fatigue and dizziness.
Benefits Of Identifying Signs And Symptoms:
It is not just about identifying the signs and symptoms of cancer but about detecting them as early as possible for a successful cure so that cancer doesn’t metastasize (spread to other areas of the body).
A good example of the significance of detecting cancer early is skin cancer (melanoma). It is easy to remove if diagnosed early. But if it spreads deep in the tissues then the survival rate drops.
No symptom should be ignored if it has lasted a long time or gets worse. Sometimes it is possible to find cancer before its symptoms start to appear through pre-cancer checkups. These are called early detection tests.
Common Signs and Symptoms In General Cancers:
There are more than 200 different types of cancer portraying different symptoms. Cancer signs and symptoms of cancer in men and women are often vague. They fluctuate depending on what part of the body is affected. The general symptoms of cancer you need to be aware of, are mentioned below, but they might not be specific to cancer. Hence, any unusual change in the body should be investigated immediately by consulting a good physician.
Constant fatigue: If you are feeling tired all the time or feel weakness even if you haven’t been working for a long time is not normal. It could be a sign of leukemia, colon or stomach cancer.
Unexplained weight loss or loss of appetite: When you lose weight without any known reason, it is called unexplained weight loss. At some point in cancer development, most people lose weight. Weight loss of 10 pounds or more is concerning and the first sign of cancer. It usually happens with cancers of stomach, pancreas, esophagus or lung.
Fever: Fever is very common with cancer. Persistent low-grade fever happens when cancer has spread. Especially when cancer or its treatment affects the immune system. It happens in blood cancers (leukemia or lymphoma)
Pain: Pain is an early symptom of cancers of bone or testicles. A Headache is a consistent finding in brain tumor that doesn’t vanish with treatments.
Change in skin color: Not only skin cancers cause changes in skin color, but some other cancers might also be held responsible for it. Following changes might be seen in skin cancer:
- Pale looking skin, yellow eyes or skin (jaundice
- Hyperpigmentation (darker and pigmented skin)
- Heavy night sweats: Heavy drenching night sweats could be a sign of cancer.
- Hoarseness of voice and cough: A nagging cough lasting for more than three weeks, persistent wheezing, breathlessness, and hoarseness could be a sign of lung cancer.
Signs and Symptoms Of Cancers:
Some other common signs and symptoms of cancer that could suggest particular cancer should also be considered under observation.
- Skin sores that do not heal for a long time: Skin cancers may display sores that bleed. Long lasting sores of mouth lead to oral cancers.
- White patches in the mouth or white spots on the tongue: These patches or spots indicate leukoplakia that is a pre-cancerous area resulting from a constant irritation. Leading cause is smoking tobacco. It can become oral cancer.
- Unexplained bleeding or discharge: Bleeding could be a sign of early or advanced cancer.
- Coughing of blood is indicative of lung cancer
- Blood (red/black) in stool indicates colon cancer
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding results in the cervix or endometrial cancer.
- Hematuria (blood in urine) is a sign of kidney cancer
- Nipple discharge, nipples turning inward, redness or scaling of breast or nipple is also a sign of breast cancer.
- Indigestion or persistent heartburn: If indigestion or swallowing problem persists, it might be oesophageal, stomach or pharyngeal cancer indication.
- Persistent Bloating: Women are said to be natural bloaters but if it persists for more than two weeks, later involving bleeding and weight loss sometimes mean ovarian cancer. It can be diagnosed through a pelvic exam and ultrasound.
This talk reveals the significance of the early identification of the signs and symptoms of cancer in women and men for a successful cure and it addresses to every man, woman and children of any age.
Being conscious of the signs and symptoms of cancer is necessary. Contact your physician and get your cancer risk assessed as soon as you identify your symptoms. This way you can make better choices to keep your body cancer free and healthy.
- Understanding Cancer Signs and Symptoms
- Basic sign and symptoms of cancer
- Cancer symptoms that women ignore
- Key Cancer sign and symptoms
- Overview of cancer symptoms
- Cancer Symptoms and Screening in men
- Understanding cancer Symptoms
- General cancer symptoms
Help Is Here:
If you or your dear one is looking for any alternative cancer treatments or a good Home Care Plan, you can get in touch with Dr Adem here.
Furthermore, you can find more information about cancer, its signs and symptoms, risk factors or any information about the treatments on this website.