Signs of cancer
The common signs of cancer are;
- Persistent cough – Cancer patients can experience persistent cough if the cancer infection spreads or metastasizes to the lungs. The person can cough out blood or rust-colored mucus or phlegm. The saliva can also be blood-tinged. This symptom can also be a sign of tuberculosis so doing diagnosis is recommended.
- Change in bowel habits – Changes in bowel habits are common signs of cancer infection. This usually results when the cancer infection spreads to the colon. The person will experience persistent diarrhea or constipation.
- Blood in the stool – The presence of blood in stool is a common cancer sign especially if the infection has spread to the colon. The blood in stool is due to rectal bleeding due to infection. If you experience this, try going for a diagnosis from your doctor because there are other infections like hemorrhoids that can also cause blood to be present in the stool.
- Unexplained low blood count – Low counts of white blood cells is a common symptom of cancer that is common in most patients. It usually results when the cancer infection spreads and affects the bone marrow thus causing low production of neutrophils.
- Breast lump – Breast lumps are common signs of cancer although it can also be caused by other conditions like injuries and non-cancerous growths. Breast lumps due to cancer infection are usually painless and the person will experience nipple discharge and inflammation of the breast skin. The lump is usually hard and firm compared to other surrounding tissues.
- Lumps in the testicles – This is also a common sign of cancer especially after it has spread to the testes. Testicular lumps due to cancer are painless and swelling can be witnessed on either testicle. In some cases, the person can experience a dull pain, discomfort, or numbness in a testicle or scrotum, with swelling or not.
- A change in urination – If cancer spreads to the bladder, the person can experience pain when urinating, an inability to urinate, frequent urination, and a feeling of urgency to urinate even when the bladder is not full.
- Blood in urine – Bladder infection due to cancer can cause blood to be present in urine. This is a very common sign in bladder cancer situations. Although blood in urine can be caused by different infections such as urinary tract infection. If you witness blood in urine try contacting your doctor for a diagnosis.
- Hoarseness – Hoarseness is a common sign of cancer infection. When the cancer infection affects the larynx, the person can experience a change in voice or experience hoarseness. Whenever you experience hoarseness, you need not worry much as it can be caused by other conditions too but the most common cause is an infection of the larynx. Always try going for diagnosis if you experience hoarseness together with a nagging cough.
- Swollen lymph nodes – Swelling a rare sign of cancer but it can occur. The swelling can be witnessed in the neck, under the chin, in the armpits, and in the groin.
- Difficulty swallowing – This is a common cancer sign especially if cancer affects the throat causing tumors. The tumors will block or narrow the throat passage thus causing difficulty in swallowing.
- Unusual vaginal bleeding – Irregular vaginal bleeding is a common cancer sign especially if it affects the cervix. The bleeding can be experienced during sexual intercourse or after menstruation. Some people can think it’s just spotting.
- Unexpected weight loss – Weight loss is a common sign of cancer infection especially if it affects the pancreas, stomach, esophagus, and lungs. Weight loss without trying should be something to worry about as it indicates an underlying condition.
- Unexpected night sweats – Night sweats are common signs of cancer especially if it affects the lymphoma. The night sweats are a sign that the body is trying to fight infection.
- Nonhealing sores – Nonhealing sores or wounds can be experienced when cancer affects the blood cells causing a reduction in platelet levels. This type of cancer is usually known as leukemia.
- Headache – Frequent headaches that don’t seem to go away can be a sign of cancer. If the lymphoma is affected, it may cause stress in the musculoskeletal system thus causing headaches and pain in the neck or back.
- Skin changes – Cancer infection can cause rashes on the skin and the skin can be dry and it can be accompanied by itchiness of the skin or burning.
- White patches in the mouth – White patches inside the mouth or on the tongue sometimes cannot be caused by cancer but if they are accompanied by red patches, there is a potential of being caused by cancer infection.
Most of the signs of cancer discussed above can also be caused by other infections or conditions.
It’s always advisable to go for diagnosis whenever you experience any of the above signs in order to establish the real cause.
Some people who have already undergone cancer treatment can also experience some of the above signs just as side effects of cancer treatment.