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Tumors in body symptoms: 17 Cancer Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore | Patient Education


17 Cancer Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore | Patient Education

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Last updated August 1, 2020

In an effort to stay safe from coronavirus, many of us have put off the annual screenings and check-ups where cancers are often caught. That’s understandable. Still, early detection is one of the best weapons against the disease.

Screenings can detect a cancer before symptoms appear. You too can pick up on early warning signs by paying close attention to changes in your body. If you notice something new or different that lasts several weeks – and several weeks is key – reach out to your health care provider. Not every symptom that could be cancer is cancer. But here are 17 symptoms that may warrant a call to your doctor:

1. Abnormal periods or pelvic pain

Most women have the occasional irregular period or cramps. But persistent pain or changes in your cycle can be a sign of cervical, uterine or ovarian cancer.

2. Changes in bathroom habits

Significant changes in bodily functions can indicate colon, prostate or bladder cancer, among other cancers. Warning signs include persistent constipation or diarrhea; black or red blood in your stool; black, tarry stools; more frequent urination; and blood in your urine.

3. Bloating

We all feel bloated now and then. But bloating for more than two weeks can be a sign of ovarian cancer, as well as various gastrointestinal cancers.

4. Breast changes

These include a new lump, dimpling, discoloring, changes around the nipple or unusual discharge that you didn’t have before. Although most breast cancer occurs in women, men can develop it too.

5. Chronic coughing

A cough that persists for more than two weeks, especially a dry cough, can be a sign of lung cancer.

6. Chronic headache

A headache that lasts more than two weeks and doesn’t respond to the usual medications can be caused by a brain tumor.

7. Difficulty swallowing

If you feel as though food is getting stuck in your throat or you have trouble swallowing for more than two weeks, this can be a sign of throat, lung or stomach cancer.

8. Excessive bruising

A bruise on the shin from bumping into the coffee table is normal. But suddenly getting a lot of bruises in unusual places that haven’t been bumped can indicate various blood cancers.

9. Frequent fevers or infections

Spiking a fever over and over, or going from one infection to the next can indicate an immune system that’s been rendered more susceptible by lymphoma or leukemia.

10. Oral changes

Persistent sores or lesions or painful areas in the mouth, especially in people who smoke or drink heavily, can indicate various oral cancers.

11. Skin changes

A shift in the appearance of a mole or birthmark should be assessed by a health care provider, either in person or through a video visit. To remember which changes are cause for concern, use this easy mnemonic, ABCDE.

Asymmetry: One half of the mole or mark doesn’t look like the other.

Border: The edges are irregular or blurred.

Color: It’s varied or inconsistent, both black and brown.

Diameter: It’s larger than the size of a pencil eraser.

Evolving: This refers to any mole that grows, bleeds or otherwise changes over time.

12. Pain that lasts

Persistent pain anywhere in your body that has no clear cause and doesn’t respond to standard treatments should be evaluated.

13. Persistent fatigue

A sudden, lasting change in your energy level, no matter how much sleep you’ve been getting, can be a sign of leukemia or lymphoma.

14. Postmenopausal bleeding

There are a number of reasons for this, but if it persists, your doctor may want to check for cervical or uterine cancer.

15. Stomach pain or nausea

Unusual discomfort that lasts more than two weeks can be a warning sign of liver, pancreatic or various digestive system cancers.

16. Unexplained weight loss

Weight fluctuates. But the loss of pounds when you’re not trying, or the loss of your appetite, can indicate many types of cancers, especially ones that have spread.

17. Unusual lumps

Any new lump or mass that doesn’t go away should be evaluated. Lymph nodes often become swollen when you have a cold, but if the swelling persists after you’re well, you should contact your doctor.

Cancer – Symptoms and causes


Cancer refers to any one of a large number of diseases characterized by the development of abnormal cells that divide uncontrollably and have the ability to infiltrate and destroy normal body tissue. Cancer often has the ability to spread throughout your body.

Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the world. But survival rates are improving for many types of cancer, thanks to improvements in cancer screening, treatment and prevention.

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Signs and symptoms caused by cancer will vary depending on what part of the body is affected.

Some general signs and symptoms associated with, but not specific to, cancer, include:

  • Fatigue
  • Lump or area of thickening that can be felt under the skin
  • Weight changes, including unintended loss or gain
  • Skin changes, such as yellowing, darkening or redness of the skin, sores that won’t heal, or changes to existing moles
  • Changes in bowel or bladder habits
  • Persistent cough or trouble breathing
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarseness
  • Persistent indigestion or discomfort after eating
  • Persistent, unexplained muscle or joint pain
  • Persistent, unexplained fevers or night sweats
  • Unexplained bleeding or bruising

When to see a doctor

Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any persistent signs or symptoms that concern you.

If you don’t have any signs or symptoms, but are worried about your risk of cancer, discuss your concerns with your doctor. Ask about which cancer screening tests and procedures are appropriate for you.


Cancer is caused by changes (mutations) to the DNA within cells. The DNA inside a cell is packaged into a large number of individual genes, each of which contains a set of instructions telling the cell what functions to perform, as well as how to grow and divide. Errors in the instructions can cause the cell to stop its normal function and may allow a cell to become cancerous.

What do gene mutations do?

A gene mutation can instruct a healthy cell to:

  • Allow rapid growth. A gene mutation can tell a cell to grow and divide more rapidly. This creates many new cells that all have that same mutation.
  • Fail to stop uncontrolled cell growth. Normal cells know when to stop growing so that you have just the right number of each type of cell. Cancer cells lose the controls (tumor suppressor genes) that tell them when to stop growing. A mutation in a tumor suppressor gene allows cancer cells to continue growing and accumulating.
  • Make mistakes when repairing DNA errors. DNA repair genes look for errors in a cell’s DNA and make corrections. A mutation in a DNA repair gene may mean that other errors aren’t corrected, leading cells to become cancerous.

These mutations are the most common ones found in cancer. But many other gene mutations can contribute to causing cancer.

What causes gene mutations?

Gene mutations can occur for several reasons, for instance:

  • Gene mutations you’re born with. You may be born with a genetic mutation that you inherited from your parents. This type of mutation accounts for a small percentage of cancers.
  • Gene mutations that occur after birth. Most gene mutations occur after you’re born and aren’t inherited. A number of forces can cause gene mutations, such as smoking, radiation, viruses, cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens), obesity, hormones, chronic inflammation and a lack of exercise.

Gene mutations occur frequently during normal cell growth. However, cells contain a mechanism that recognizes when a mistake occurs and repairs the mistake. Occasionally, a mistake is missed. This could cause a cell to become cancerous.

How do gene mutations interact with each other?

The gene mutations you’re born with and those that you acquire throughout your life work together to cause cancer.

For instance, if you’ve inherited a genetic mutation that predisposes you to cancer, that doesn’t mean you’re certain to get cancer. Instead, you may need one or more other gene mutations to cause cancer. Your inherited gene mutation could make you more likely than other people to develop cancer when exposed to a certain cancer-causing substance.

It’s not clear just how many mutations must accumulate for cancer to form. It’s likely that this varies among cancer types.

Risk factors

While doctors have an idea of what may increase your risk of cancer, the majority of cancers occur in people who don’t have any known risk factors. Factors known to increase your risk of cancer include:

Your age

Cancer can take decades to develop. That’s why most people diagnosed with cancer are 65 or older. While it’s more common in older adults, cancer isn’t exclusively an adult disease — cancer can be diagnosed at any age.

Your habits

Certain lifestyle choices are known to increase your risk of cancer. Smoking, drinking more than one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men, excessive exposure to the sun or frequent blistering sunburns, being obese, and having unsafe sex can contribute to cancer.

You can change these habits to lower your risk of cancer — though some habits are easier to change than others.

Your family history

Only a small portion of cancers are due to an inherited condition. If cancer is common in your family, it’s possible that mutations are being passed from one generation to the next. You might be a candidate for genetic testing to see whether you have inherited mutations that might increase your risk of certain cancers. Keep in mind that having an inherited genetic mutation doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get cancer.

Your health conditions

Some chronic health conditions, such as ulcerative colitis, can markedly increase your risk of developing certain cancers. Talk to your doctor about your risk.

Your environment

The environment around you may contain harmful chemicals that can increase your risk of cancer. Even if you don’t smoke, you might inhale secondhand smoke if you go where people are smoking or if you live with someone who smokes. Chemicals in your home or workplace, such as asbestos and benzene, also are associated with an increased risk of cancer.


Cancer and its treatment can cause several complications, including:

  • Pain. Pain can be caused by cancer or by cancer treatment, though not all cancer is painful. Medications and other approaches can effectively treat cancer-related pain.
  • Fatigue. Fatigue in people with cancer has many causes, but it can often be managed. Fatigue associated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy treatments is common, but it’s usually temporary.
  • Difficulty breathing. Cancer or cancer treatment may cause a feeling of being short of breath. Treatments may bring relief.
  • Nausea. Certain cancers and cancer treatments can cause nausea. Your doctor can sometimes predict if your treatment is likely to cause nausea. Medications and other treatments may help you prevent or decrease nausea.
  • Diarrhea or constipation. Cancer and cancer treatment can affect your bowels and cause diarrhea or constipation.
  • Weight loss. Cancer and cancer treatment may cause weight loss. Cancer steals food from normal cells and deprives them of nutrients. This is often not affected by how many calories or what kind of food is eaten; it’s difficult to treat. In most cases, using artificial nutrition through tubes into the stomach or vein does not help change the weight loss.
  • Chemical changes in your body. Cancer can upset the normal chemical balance in your body and increase your risk of serious complications. Signs and symptoms of chemical imbalances might include excessive thirst, frequent urination, constipation and confusion.
  • Brain and nervous system problems. Cancer can press on nearby nerves and cause pain and loss of function of one part of your body. Cancer that involves the brain can cause headaches and stroke-like signs and symptoms, such as weakness on one side of your body.
  • Unusual immune system reactions to cancer. In some cases the body’s immune system may react to the presence of cancer by attacking healthy cells. Called paraneoplastic syndromes, these very rare reactions can lead to a variety of signs and symptoms, such as difficulty walking and seizures.
  • Cancer that spreads. As cancer advances, it may spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. Where cancer spreads depends on the type of cancer.
  • Cancer that returns. Cancer survivors have a risk of cancer recurrence. Some cancers are more likely to recur than others. Ask your doctor about what you can do to reduce your risk of cancer recurrence. Your doctor may devise a follow-up care plan for you after treatment. This plan may include periodic scans and exams in the months and years after your treatment, to look for cancer recurrence.


Doctors have identified several ways to reduce your risk of cancer, such as:

  • Stop smoking. If you smoke, quit. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. Smoking is linked to several types of cancer — not just lung cancer. Stopping now will reduce your risk of cancer in the future.
  • Avoid excessive sun exposure. Harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can increase your risk of skin cancer. Limit your sun exposure by staying in the shade, wearing protective clothing or applying sunscreen.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Choose a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Select whole grains and lean proteins. Limit your intake of processed meats.
  • Exercise most days of the week. Regular exercise is linked to a lower risk of cancer. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. If you haven’t been exercising regularly, start out slowly and work your way up to 30 minutes or longer.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese may increase your risk of cancer. Work to achieve and maintain a healthy weight through a combination of a healthy diet and regular exercise.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation, if you choose to drink. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men.
  • Schedule cancer screening exams. Talk to your doctor about what types of cancer screening exams are best for you based on your risk factors.
  • Ask your doctor about immunizations. Certain viruses increase your risk of cancer. Immunizations may help prevent those viruses, including hepatitis B, which increases the risk of liver cancer, and human papillomavirus (HPV), which increases the risk of cervical cancer and other cancers. Ask your doctor whether immunization against these viruses is appropriate for you.

Symptoms of Cancer – National Cancer Institute

If you have symptoms that last for a couple of weeks, it is important to see a doctor.

Credit: iStock

Cancer can cause many symptoms, but these symptoms are most often caused by illness, injury, benign tumors, or other problems. If you have symptoms that do not get better after a few weeks, see your doctor so that problems can be diagnosed and treated as early as possible. Often, cancer does not cause pain, so do not wait to feel pain before seeing a doctor. 

To learn more about symptoms for a specific cancer, see the list of PDQ® cancer treatment summaries for adult and childhood cancers. Each summary includes detailed information about symptoms caused by a specific cancer.

Some of the symptoms that cancer may cause include:

Breast changes

  • Lump or firm feeling in your breast or under your arm
  • Nipple changes or discharge
  • Skin that is itchy, red, scaly, dimpled, or puckered

Bladder changes

  • Trouble urinating
  • Pain when urinating
  • Blood in the urine

Bleeding or bruising, for no known reason

Bowel changes 

  • Blood in the stools
  • Changes in bowel habits

Cough or hoarseness that does not go away

Eating problems

  • Pain after eating (heartburn or indigestion that doesn’t go away)
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Belly pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Appetite changes

Fatigue that is severe and lasts

Fever or night sweats for no known reason

Mouth changes

  • A white or red patch on the tongue or in your mouth
  • Bleeding, pain, or numbness in the lip or mouth

Neurological problems

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Vision changes
  • Hearing changes
  • Drooping of the face

Skin changes

  • A flesh-colored lump that bleeds or turns scaly
  • A new mole or a change in an existing mole
  • A sore that does not heal
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)

Swelling or lumps anywhere such as in the neck, underarm, stomach, and groin

Weight gain or weight loss for no known reason

Brain Tumor: Symptoms and Signs

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about body changes and other things that can signal a problem that may need medical care. Use the menu to see other pages.

People with a brain tumor may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes, people with a brain tumor do not have any of these changes. Or, the cause of a symptom may be a different medical condition that is not a brain tumor.

Symptoms of a brain tumor can be general or specific. A general symptom is caused by the pressure of the tumor on the brain or spinal cord. Specific symptoms are caused when a specific part of the brain is not working well because of the tumor. For many people with a brain tumor, they were diagnosed when they went to the doctor after experiencing a problem, such as a headache or other changes.

General symptoms include:

  • Headaches, which may be severe and worsen with activity or in the early morning

  • Seizures. People may experience different types of seizures. Certain drugs can help prevent or control them. Motor seizures, also called convulsions, are sudden involuntary movements of a person’s muscles. The different types of seizures and what they look like are listed below:

    • Myoclonic

    • Tonic-Clonic (Grand Mal)

      • Loss of consciousness and body tone, followed by twitching and relaxing muscles that are called contractions

      • Loss of control of body functions, such as loss of bladder control

      • May be a short 30-second period of no breathing and a person’s skin may turn a shade of blue, purple, gray, white, or green

      • After this type of seizure, a person may be sleepy and experience a headache, confusion, weakness, numbness, and sore muscles.

    • Sensory

      • Change in sensation, vision, smell, and/or hearing without losing consciousness

    • Complex partial

      • May cause a loss of awareness or a partial or total loss of consciousness

      • May be associated with repetitive, unintentional movements, such as twitching

  • Personality or memory changes

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Fatigue

  • Drowsiness

  • Sleep problems

  • Memory problems

  • Changes in ability to walk or perform daily activities

Symptoms that may be specific to the location of the tumor include:

  • Pressure or headache near the tumor

  • Loss of balance and difficulty with fine motor skills is linked with a tumor in the cerebellum.

  • Changes in judgment, including loss of initiative, sluggishness, and muscle weakness or paralysis is associated with a tumor in the frontal lobe of the cerebrum.

  • Partial or complete loss of vision is caused by a tumor in the occipital lobe or temporal lobe of the cerebrum.

  • Changes in speech, hearing, memory, or emotional state, such as aggressiveness and problems understanding or retrieving words can develop from a tumor in the frontal and temporal lobe of the cerebrum.

  • Altered perception of touch or pressure, arm or leg weakness on 1 side of the body, or confusion with left and right sides of the body are linked to a tumor in the frontal or parietal lobe of the cerebrum.

  • Inability to look upward can be caused by a pineal gland tumor.

  • Lactation, which is the secretion of breast milk, and altered menstrual periods in women, and growth in hands and feet in adults are linked with a pituitary tumor.

  • Difficulty swallowing, facial weakness or numbness, or double vision is a symptom of a tumor in the brain stem.

  • Vision changes, including loss of part of the vision or double vision can be from a tumor in the temporal lobe, occipital lobe, or brain stem.

If you are concerned about any changes you experience, please talk with your doctor. Your doctor will ask how long and how often you’ve been experiencing the symptom(s), in addition to other questions. This is to help figure out the cause of the problem, called a diagnosis.

If a brain tumor is diagnosed, relieving symptoms remains an important part of your care and treatment. This may be called palliative care or supportive care. It is often started soon after diagnosis and continued throughout treatment. Be sure to talk with your health care team about the symptoms you experience, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms. Learn more about managing symptoms of a brain tumor in the Types of Treatment section.

The next section in this guide is Diagnosis. It explains what tests may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms That Suggest Cancer?

Cancer can cause almost any type of sign or symptom.

A sign is something that others can see, such as a fever, vomiting, or fast breathing. Symptoms are perceived only by the person who has the condition. For example, weakness, tiredness, and pain are symptoms. (1)

You may experience both signs and symptoms of cancer, which can signal that something is wrong in your body. Recognizing these indicators can lead to an earlier diagnosis and possibly a better outlook.

RELATED: Aggressive Treatment of Early Lung Cancer Improves Survival

How Does Cancer Cause Signs and Symptoms?

When cancer grows, it can push on nearby organs, nerves, and blood vessels, which can cause signs and symptoms. Even the smallest tumors can cause symptoms in certain organs, such as the brain.

If your cancer spreads, or metastasizes, you may notice signs or symptoms in different parts of your body.

Another reason you may experience symptoms is that cancer cells use up a lot of your body’s energy supply. They also cause changes in how your immune system works. (1)

RELATED: Yoga, Meditation May Ease Some Breast Cancer Symptoms

Some of the Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Cancer

Although every case is different, some general signs and symptoms of cancer include:

  • Weight loss Unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds or more may be one of the first signs of cancer. Weight loss is common in people who have pancreatic, stomach, esophageal, or lung cancer, but can occur with any type of cancer. (1, 2)
  • Fever Fevers frequently crop up when a cancer has metastasized. Night sweats often accompany the fevers. Nearly all people with cancer will experience a fever at some point. (1,2)
  • Fatigue Feeling extremely tired can be a symptom of cancer in your body. (1,2)
  • A lump A lump or thickening of skin can be an early or late sign of cancer. People with cancers in the breast, lymph nodes, soft tissues, and testicles typically have lumps. (1,2)
  • Skin changes Yellowing, darkening, or redness of the skin can signal cancer. Also, sores that don’t heal should be checked out. Additionally, moles, freckles, or warts that change in color, shape, or size could be a sign of skin cancer. (1,2)
  • Pain Most of the time, pain happens because the cancer has already spread in your body. But pain may be an early symptom of bone cancer or testicular cancer. Back pain is common in people with colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, or ovarian cancer. Those with brain tumors often complain of a headache that doesn’t go away. (1,2)
  • Bowel or bladder function changes Constipation, diarrhea, and other bowel issues may be a sign of colorectal cancer. People with bladder cancer and prostate cancer may report pain during urination, blood in the urine, or other bladder-function changes. (1,2)
  • Cough or hoarseness A cough that doesn’t go away or a hoarse voice may be a sign of lung cancer, cancer of the larynx, or thyroid cancer. (1,2)
  • Indigestion Indigestion or problems swallowing can be a sign of stomach, esophageal, or throat cancer. (1,2)
  • Bleeding Unusual bleeding is associated with many different cancers. Coughing up blood may signal lung cancer. Bloody stools could be a sign of colon or rectal cancer. Women with cervical or endometrial cancer may experience abnormal vaginal bleeding. Blood in the urine could mean you have bladder or kidney cancer. Bloody discharge from a woman’s nipple might indicate breast cancer. (1,2)
  • Changes in your mouth White patches inside your mouth or on your tongue could be precancers that can turn into oral cancer. Sores, bleeding, or numbness in the mouth may also be a sign of certain cancers. (1,2)
  • Swollen lymph nodes Sometimes, enlarged lymph nodes can signal cancer. You should have your doctor check it out if your gland remains swollen for three to four weeks. (1,2)
  • Being out of breath Constantly feeling out of breath may be a sign of certain cancers. (1,2)
  • Bloating A constant uncomfortable feeling of fullness that lasts daily for weeks could be a sign of ovarian cancer. (3)
  • Anemia Several cancers, including leukemia and lymphoma, can cause anemia (low red blood cell counts). These abnormal levels show up on blood tests. Having anemia can make you feel tired and weak. (4)

Most of the time, these symptoms aren’t caused by cancer. A benign tumor or another problem may be the culprit. But you shouldn’t ignore symptoms that are persistent, severe, or don’t go away.

RELATED: Are You Anemic? The Signs to Look For

Clues That Your Cancer Has Spread

Symptoms may be different or more intense if your cancer has metastasized to other parts of your body.

Here are some common symptoms of cancer that has spread:

  • Bone metastasis Cancer that has spread to the bones may cause joint pain or fractures.
  • Liver metastasis If your disease has invaded your liver, you might experience jaundice and swelling in your abdomen.
  • Brain metastasis When cancer metastasizes to the brain, symptoms may include headaches, speech difficulties, blurred vision, or dizziness.
  • Lung metastasis Cancer that has spread to the lungs may trigger shortness of breath or a persistent cough. (5)

RELATED: What Happens When Metastatic Breast Cancer Spreads to Your Bones?

Can Cancer Cause Weight Gain?

While weight loss is a more common symptom of cancer, some people do experience weight gain.

Studies show more than half of women with breast cancer gain weight during treatment, and those extra pounds are linked to poorer outcomes. (6)

The excess weight may be a side effect of medicines like steroids or hormones. Also, certain chemo drugs might cause you to retain extra fluids, which is known as edema. This can increase your body weight.Or, you might simply eat more because you’re anxious or trying to improve nausea symptoms. A common side effect of steroids — given to prevent the nausea and allergic reactions that come with many chemotherapies — is increased appetite. Additionally, many people with cancer notice that their energy levels drop, which can lead to inactivity and weight gain. (7)

RELATED: Abdominal Fat Raises Risk for Lung Cancer in Post-Menopausal Women

Can Cancer Affect Blood Pressure?

Some cancer medications, such as anti-VEGF drugs, can cause an increase in blood pressure. These treatments help block blood flow supply to tumors, but they also can affect other blood vessels in the body, which can elevate blood pressure. (8)

Also, high blood pressure may be a sign of certain cancers, such as adrenal cancer. (9) 

Other treatments, such as chemotherapy and certain targeted drugs, may cause low blood pressure. (10) 


RELATED: FDA Recall of Heart Meds Grows Due to Cancer Risk

Can Cancer Cause Blood Clots?

People with cancer have a greater risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT; a blood clot that forms in a deep vein). Many cancers secrete substances into the blood that make the blood “thicker” and more likely to form a clot. Many chemo drugs may also up your risk for DVT. (11)

Why Does Cancer Cause Back Pain?

Most cases of back pain aren’t caused by cancer, but back pain can be an indicator.

Back pain is a symptom of many types of cancers, including primary bone cancer and those that have metastasized from the breast, colon, testicles, or lungs.

Usually, tumors put pressure on the spine and affect the nerves around it, which causes the pain. (12)

RELATED: Cancer: What Does It Mean to Get Palliative Care?

Why Noticing Cancer Symptoms Is Important

Identifying symptoms can help you and your doctor detect your cancer earlier. This is important because the sooner cancer is found, the better your prognosis. (13)

For example, melanoma can be effectively treated if it’s spotted early. The five-year survival rate is around 98 percent if the cancer hasn’t grown deep into the skin. (14)

While symptoms are most likely caused by something other than cancer, you shouldn’t dismiss them. This is especially true if the problem has lasted a long time or has gotten worse.

RELATED: Lung Cancer Basics

Some Cancers Cause No Symptoms at All

Sometimes, people with cancer don’t experience any signs or symptoms at all. Others only have issues when the cancer has spread throughout their body.

For instance, ovarian cancer usually doesn’t cause any noticeable problems until it spreads to other organs. By the time this cancer causes signs or symptoms, it’s usually very advanced and difficult to cure.

It’s possible to spot cancers before you have any symptoms. Checkups and screening tests may be able to detect certain cancers in your body before they start affecting you.

Ask your doctor if you should have any special tests. If you have a family history of a certain cancer or have been exposed to specific risk factors, your physician may perform more aggressive testing.

When Should You Go to See Your Doctor to Be Checked Out?

It’s always a good idea to see your doctor if you have symptoms that concern you.

Your symptoms are most likely caused by something else, but it’s important to get checked out just in case. At the very least, your physician can help you figure out what’s causing the issues.

You’ll probably be referred to a specialist if your doctor thinks your symptoms are caused by cancer.

If you’re worried about developing cancer or have a family history of the disease but don’t have symptoms, it can still be helpful to talk to your doctor about your risk. Ask your healthcare provider about any screening tests or procedures that might be appropriate. (2)

RELATED: Does IBD Put You at Greater Risk of Skin Cancer?

Signs and symptoms of cancer

This page covers some of the key signs and symptoms of cancer, including those which can be early signs. Not every person with cancer has symptoms. But spotting cancer early saves lives, so tell your doctor if you notice anything that isn’t normal for you.

Keep reading below for more detailed information on the key cancer signs and symptoms. We have separate information on specific cancer types and their possible symptoms.


How do you know if you have cancer?

There are over 200 different types of cancer that can cause many different symptoms. Sometimes symptoms are linked to certain cancer types. But signs can also be more general, including weight loss, tiredness (fatigue) or unexplained pain.

You don’t need to try and remember all the signs and symptoms of cancer, but we have listed some key ones to give you an idea of the kind of things to be aware of. These symptoms are more often a sign of something far less serious – but if it is cancer, spotting it early can make a real difference.

Remember, anyone can develop cancer, but it’s more common as we get older. Most cases are in people aged 50 or over. Whatever your age, it’s always best to listen to your body and talk to your doctor if something doesn’t feel quite right. Whether it’s a change that’s new, unusual, or something that won’t go away – get it checked out.


Some possible signs of cancer – like a lump – are better known than others. But just because some symptoms are more well known, doesn’t mean they’re more important, or more likely to be cancer. If you spot anything that isn’t normal for you – don’t ignore it. Whether it’s on this list or not, get it checked out.


General cancer symptoms

Unexplained pain or ache

Pain is one way our bodies tell us that something is wrong. As we get older, it‘s more common to experience aches and pains. But unexplained pain could be a sign of something more serious.

Very heavy night sweats

Sweating at night can be caused by infections or it can be a side effect of certain medications. It’s also often experienced by women around the time of the menopause. But very heavy, drenching night sweats can also be a sign of cancer.

Unexplained weight loss

Small weight changes over time are quite normal, but if you lose a noticeable amount of weight without trying to, tell your doctor.

Unusual lump or swelling anywhere

Persistent lumps or swelling in any part of your body should be taken seriously. That includes any lumps in the neck, armpit, stomach, groin, chest, breast or testicle.


There are lots of reasons you may feel more tired than usual, particularly if you’re going through a stressful event, or having troubles sleeping. But if you’re feeling tired for no clear reason, it could be a sign that something is wrong – speak to your doctor.


Skin changes

Sore that won’t heal

The skin repairs itself very quickly and any damage usually heals within a week or so. When a spot, wart or sore doesn’t heal, even if it’s painless, a doctor needs to check it.

New mole or changes to a mole

Most moles are harmless. But be aware of any new moles or existing moles that change in size, shape or colour, become crusty, itch, hurt, bleed or ooze. The ABCDE checklist gives more details about the key changes you should always tell your doctor about.

Other skin changes

Any unusual change in a patch of skin or a nail, whether it’s a new change or has been there for a while, should be checked out by your doctor.


Symptoms that affect eating

Difficulty swallowing

Some medical conditions can make it difficult to swallow. Talk to your doctor if you are having difficulty swallowing and the problem doesn’t go away.

Unusual heartburn or indigestion

It is normal to feel slight discomfort or pain sometimes after eating a large, fatty or spicy meal. But if you have heartburn (acid reflux) or indigestion a lot, or if it is particularly painful, then you should see your doctor.

Appetite loss

Appetite loss can happen for many different reasons. Speak to your doctor if you’ve noticed you’re not as hungry as usual and it’s not getting any better.


Symptoms that affect your voice and breathing

Croaky voice or hoarseness

Having a croaky voice or feeling hoarse can be common with colds. But a croaky voice that hasn’t gone away on its own should be checked out.

Persistent cough

Coughs are common with colds and some other health conditions. But if an unexplained cough doesn’t go away in a few weeks or gets worse, it could be a sign of cancer.


It’s not unusual to feel out of breath every now and then. But if you notice that you’re feeling breathless more than usual or for a lot of the time, tell your doctor.


Changes in your poo or pee

Let your doctor know if you’ve noticed a change in your bowel habits, have problems peeing, or if there’s blood in your pee or poo. A change in bowel habits can include constipation, looser poo or pooing more often. Problems peeing might be needing to go more often or urgently, experiencing pain when peeing, or not being able to go when you need to.

These symptoms can all be caused by conditions other than cancer, but it’s best to get them checked out.


Unexplained bleeding or blood

Unexplained bleeding can often be caused by something far less serious than cancer, but you should always report it to your doctor.

This includes blood in your poo or pee, and vomiting or coughing up blood – no matter how much or what colour (it could be red, or a darker colour like brown or black). It also includes any unexplained vaginal bleeding between periods, after sex or after the menopause.


Mouth ulcer or patch that won’t heal

It’s common to get ulcers (small sores) in the mouth when you’re a bit run down – they usually get better in about two weeks. But an ulcer or red or white patch that doesn’t heal after 3 weeks should be reported to your doctor or dentist.


Persistent bloating

It’s quite common to experience a bloated or swollen tummy that comes and goes from time to time. But if you feel bloated most days, even if it comes and goes, talk to your doctor.


Unusual breast changes

Lumps are not the only breast changes to tell the doctor about. Also look out for any change in the size, shape or feel of a breast, or any skin changes, redness, or pain in the breast. And don’t forget any nipple changes, including fluid, which could be blood stained, leaking from the nipple if you’re not pregnant or breastfeeding.

Breast cancer is most common in women, but whatever your gender it’s important to tell your doctor about any unusual breast changes – find out more on our breast cancer symptoms page.


Solid Tumor Symptoms & Warning Signs

A malignant tumor is an abnormal growth of cells. These cells grow uncontrollably and invade healthy tissue, spreading to other parts of the body. If untreated, malignant tumors are fatal. Solid tumors include:

  • Retinoblastoma: a rare cancer of the eye. Early diagnosis is critical to preserve vision. Children usually present with a “white spot” inside the eye commonly referred to as a “cat’s eye.”
  • Neuroblastoma: found only in children, it develops from primitive nerve cells. More than 50 percent occur in the adrenal glands near the kidney.
  • Wilms tumor: originates in the kidney. It is usually found in children under age 15.
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma: an aggressive, soft-tissue tumor that grows from muscle cells. It can arise virtually anywhere in the body.
  • Ewing sarcoma: small, round cell tumors that arise in either the bone or soft tissues. Most commonly found in the arms, legs, pelvis (hip bones) or chest wall.
  • Osteosarcoma: the most common form of bone cancer in children. It occurs most often in bones on the legs or in the upper arms.
  • Hepatoblastoma: common liver tumor in infants; usually presents with a large mass in the right side of the abdomen.

Symptoms of malignant solid tumors often include swelling or a mass that can be palpated. Other less specific signs can be weight loss, fever or vague feelings of ill health. Treatment typically includes surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or a combination of these.

Warning Signs

Some children may ignore or not recognize symptoms of illness. Others may be too young to communicate them. So parents or caretakers should make certain children have regular medical checkups with their pediatricians or primary health care providers. Be alert to signs that something might be wrong.

How does a parent tell the difference between a relatively minor illness and a serious illness such as cancer? If a child has any of the following symptoms that do not go away, seek medical attention. Of course, these symptoms can occur for reasons other than serious illness. Please discuss your concerns with your child’s doctor.

  • Fever
  • Fatigue, listlessness or pallor
  • Swelling or lumps anywhere on the body
  • Nausea or loss of appetite
  • Insomnia or sleeping too much
  • Change in disposition, e.g., whining or crying spells, unusual irritability
  • Regression of toilet habits
  • Stumbling or falling
  • Double vision or other eye problems
  • Easy and frequent bruising
  • Nosebleeds or bleeding from any part of the body

90,000 How does cancer manifest? Early symptoms and signs of cancer

What symptoms of cancer tell us that a malignant neoplasm has developed in the body. How to detect cancer in order to stop its development in time? What it is? Why do so many people ignore the first signs of cancer, putting themselves in danger? How do malignant tumors appear outwardly? How does this affect the nervous system, skin sensations? At what temperature should you suspect cancer if everything was all right before?

The first signs of cancer.As a rule, malignant tumors appear as a result of chronic pathologies.

Precancer includes diseases such as:

  • Hepatitis B, C;
  • Gastritis, when acidity is reduced, stomach ulcer;
  • Mastopathy;
  • Phenomenon of dysplasia, erosive condition.
10 Signs You Shouldn’t Miss

In order to recognize cancer in time, it is necessary to know the general symptoms related to all types of oncology. It is important not to miss the following signs of cancer:

1) Drastic weight loss. Observed in almost all people who have been diagnosed with cancer. If a person loses weight by 5-7 or more kilograms for no apparent reason, then one should undergo an examination for the presence of oncology. This weight loss may be due to gastrointestinal cancer.

2) High temperature (fever) – high temperature can be caused by the presence of cancer, especially in cases of damage to entire systems of internal organs.As a rule, the occurrence of a fever is explained by the fact that the disease has a negative effect on the immune system (immune system), and the body activates its forces to fight the infection. However, a constant fever is not observed at the onset of the disease, so if there were no other symptoms, it is most likely that the fever has other causes.

3) Weakness – weakness increases gradually when the disease penetrates deep enough into the body. However, fatigue can occur immediately after the damage to the body, for example, if there is a hemorrhage in the large intestine or stomach. Loss of blood causes discomfort inside the body and severe fatigue, a person does not have the strength to be active.

4) Pain sensations – pain appears in a person at the initial stages of the development of the disease in the presence of several cancerous tumors in the body. Pain often serves as evidence of the defeat of the whole system.

5) Changes in the epidermis – hyperpigmentation, erythema, jaundice, urticaria, etc. appear. Hair may grow faster, and tumors may appear on the skin.

6) The appearance of warts or moles – if moles have already been, and they have changed color or become larger, then you should undergo an examination as soon as possible. This could very well be a sign of melanoma, and it is best to treat it early in the development of cancer.

7) Strong cough or hoarse voice – A persistent slug cough can be a sign of lung cancer, a hoarse voice can be caused by throat or thyroid cancer.

8) Small lumps – if you can feel the swelling through the skin in the mammary gland, testicles and other soft tissues, it indicates cancer.Moreover, it is impossible to say in advance whether this is an initial stage or an advanced one, so if there is such a seal, you should immediately consult a doctor.

9) Disorders of stool and functioning of the genitourinary system – diarrhea or chronic constipation often occurs, the color of feces and its amount may change, which indicates colon cancer. If there is blood in the urine and pain when urinating, you should immediately seek medical help. Dysfunction of the prostate gland causes an overly frequent urge to urinate.

10) Problems with the gastrointestinal tract and difficulty swallowing – very often such signs indicate cancer of the intestine or stomach, you need to immediately undergo a medical examination.

How does cancer manifest in women?

As a rule, the first signs of oncology in the body in non-hormone-dependent organs in men and women are identical. However, there are types of cancer that pose a risk exclusively for women (in gynecology) – these are malignant tumors of the ovaries, breast cancer, body / cervical cancer.

Cancer as a woman begins with the following symptoms:

  • Tired areola, nipple separation, sometimes bloody;
  • Changes in skin tone around the nipple;
  • Crusty areas, erosion around the nipple;
  • Increase in body t;
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes in the armpit and clavicle;
  • Swelling on the swollen side of the arm.

In the case of cervical oncology in the early stages, symptoms are absent or / and intersect with diseases associated with the tumor and associated with inflammation.Noticeable visual manifestations of cervical cancer are sometimes spotting between periods, an irregular monthly cycle. If the body of the uterus has been affected, the main initial symptom is uterine bleeding, which often occurs during menopause. Precursors of cancer of this female organ are also cramping pain.

In the case of ovarian cancer, attention should be paid to the following changes:

  • Urinary disorders;
  • Constipation;
  • Severity in the lower abdomen;
  • Fatigue and general weakness.
Breast cancer

The following main symptoms are observed: nipple induration and retraction, bleeding or other discharge. Very often, oncology is not accompanied by pain, however, in the presence of mastopathy, pain appears and continues to intensify every day.

Skin cancer

There are several forms: nodular, infiltrative and ulcerative. Squamous cell carcinoma develops very quickly, and in order to detect it, they cross the nodules that have a yellow or pink color.The knots may have pearly pigmented, translucent edges. The neoplasm is gradually progressing, moreover, it happens very quickly. But there are also forms of cancer that develop slowly: such diseases can develop over many years, and a person will not know about it. Several nodules then bind and form a painful, dense, dark mass. Usually this is the moment people make an appointment with a doctor.

Rectal cancer

No cancerous symptoms appear at the beginning of development.But the tumor grows – and over time, the intestinal lumen closes. Painful sensations arise, since the feces are not able to pass freely, which provokes the release of pus and blood. Gradually, the feces change color and deform, the so-called “ribbon-like stool” appears. Often such a cancer is compared to a disease such as hemorrhoids, but with hemorrhoids, “ribbon-like stools” appear not at the beginning, but at the end of bowel movements. In the future, there are frequent discharge of purulent-bloody masses with a disgusting odor.

Uterine cancer

Usually in this case women have regular bleeding and strange pains. But the presence of these symptoms only indicates that the cancer is in advanced form, and the neoplasm is gradually disintegrating. The initial form does not appear, so women do not see the need to be examined. Leucorrhoea, an unpleasant mucous or watery discharge mixed with blood, also speaks of cancer. Leucorrhoea often have an unpleasant odor, but not always, sometimes they do not have any odor.In case of strange discharge, it is necessary to consult a doctor, since it is quite possible that the cancer has not advanced to advanced stages and there is a chance of cure.

Lung cancer

In this case, everything directly depends on the location of the tumor. A malignant neoplasm can appear in the bronchus or in the lung tissue, and if a tumor appears in the bronchus, then the person begins to cough constantly. The cough is painful and dry; after a while, phlegm is secreted with blood. Also, pneumonia periodically occurs, which causes other symptoms to appear: high fever, chest pain, headache, weakness, inability to concentrate.

With the development of cancer in the lung tissue, the disease passes without symptoms, which only complicates the situation, since the patient may not suspect himself of the presence of cancer and does not undergo examination. The initial tumor can be detected with an x-ray.

90,000 How to detect cancer in time? First warning signs

  • Nikolai Voronin
  • Science Correspondent

Photo by noipornpan / Getty Images

World Cancer Day is celebrated on Monday, February 4.

Strictly speaking, there is no such disease as “cancer”. This term describes more than 200 different diseases in which ordinary cells begin to multiply abnormally, form a rapidly growing tumor and can infect neighboring organs.

Despite the fact that the death rate from cancer has been falling for a quarter of a century, cancer remains one of the leading causes of death worldwide.

Almost 18 million people were diagnosed with cancer in 2018.Of these, in almost 5 million cases, the disease could be detected at an earlier stage, which means that treatment can begin earlier and make it more effective.

“We want people to know that many types of cancer are treatable and even completely curable, especially if the disease is detected as early as possible and therapy is started,” emphasizes the head of the Union for International Cancer Control Carey Adams.

For example, if cervical cancer is diagnosed at an advanced stage, the patient’s chances of surviving for another five years do not exceed 15%.However, if the disease is detected in time, this figure rises to 93%.

That is why it is important to be examined regularly. Although in Britain, for example, according to surveys, every fourth patient does not want to go to the doctor exactly because he is afraid of hearing a terrible diagnosis.

The focus of the disease can be located in any organ and take a variety of forms. However, there are some symptoms and warning signs that you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

Causes for concern:

Unusual tissue nodules , bulging and swelling.It must be remembered that cancers are often painless, especially in the early stages of the disease. Particular attention should be paid to the neck, testes in men and mammary glands in women, and also to the armpits.

Lingering cough , shortness of breath or difficulty swallowing.

Changes in the usual bowel movements 90 150. Sudden constipation or, on the contrary, frequent bouts of diarrhea – especially if traces of blood can be seen in the stool.

Unexpected bleeding – including small bleeding from the vagina, rectum, blood in the urine or sputum when coughing.

Unexplained weight loss 90 150. If, unexpectedly for yourself, you have noticeably lost weight in a relatively short period of time (about a couple of months), this is a reason for concern and a trip to the doctor. In addition to cancer, sudden weight loss can signal serious thyroid problems or diabetes.

Chronic fatigue and a catastrophic lack of energy for the usual things – despite normal healthy sleep. Usually, if the cause of chronic fatigue is in the onset of cancer, then the patient will show other symptoms as well.

Photo author, kali9 / Getty Images

Unexplained pain – of any nature and frequency: both acute attacks and aching; both chronic and occurring only occasionally.

Appearance of new moles or transformation of existing ones: changes in size, shape or color; hardening of the surface of the birthmark or any discharge.

Problems with urinating , including more frequent or more acute urge, as well as difficulty or pain in the process.

Unusual breast changes 90 150. An unexpected change in the size or shape of the breasts, or changes in touch sensation, including breast skin, or pain can be cause for concern.

Loss of appetite 90 150. If your hunger dulls for a long time, and you begin to eat less than usual, this is also an alarming signal, even if you have no other symptoms.

Non-healing sore or other wound – especially in the mouth.

Chronic heartburn or other regular digestive disorders – nausea, vomiting, bloating and others.

Profuse sweating at night.

Photo by nito100 / Getty Images

How to reduce the risk of cancer

Cancer can be triggered by both genetic predisposition and external factors – including ionizing radiation, carcinogenic substances (for example, asbestos or arsenic) or pathogens.

It is impossible to completely protect yourself from cancer, but you can significantly reduce the risk of cancer. For this, WHO experts give five tips.

Avoid smoking and tobacco smoke . The warnings, written in large letters on the cigarette packs, did not appear there for nothing. Smoking or chewing tobacco can cause not only lung cancer, but also cancer of the larynx, prostate, pancreas, kidneys, bladder and other organs.

Safe sex and medical procedures .Viruses, which can increase the risk of certain cancers, are transmitted sexually and through blood, for example, through the use of shared needles or reusable medical instruments.

Check regularly . Ideally, a full check-up with a doctor should be done every six months.

Vaccinate . For a small fee or even free of charge, you can get vaccinated against hepatitis, human papillomavirus and other diseases, which at the same time significantly reduces the risk of certain types of cancer.

Healthy diet and active lifestyle 90 150. A balanced diet with an abundance of fruits and vegetables, a good sleep schedule and at least a little regular exercise will help you significantly increase your immunity and avoid many diseases, including cancer.

Home | City hospital Kumertau

What are the signs and symptoms of cancer?

Cancer is a group of diseases that can be accompanied by any signs and symptoms.Signs and symptoms depend on the size of the tumor, the location of the cancer, and how involved the surrounding organs or structures are. If cancer spreads (metastasizes), symptoms can occur in different parts of the body.

As the tumor grows, it begins to squeeze nearby organs, blood vessels and nerves. This compression leads to some of the signs and symptoms of cancer. If the tumor is located in a particularly important area, for example, in some parts of the brain, then even small cancers can give early symptoms.

However, sometimes the tumor occurs in places where symptoms may not appear until it reaches a large size. Pancreatic cancer is difficult to identify with external examination. Some tumors in this location do not give symptoms until they involve nerves in the process, leading to back pain. Other tumors grow near the bile duct, resulting in discoloration of the skin (jaundice). Unfortunately, when signs and symptoms appear in prostate cancer, it is already common.

Cancer can also lead to the appearance of general symptoms in the form of fever, increased fatigue, weight loss. This can be caused by tumor cells that secrete substances that alter metabolic processes in the body. Such symptoms can also occur as a result of the effect of a tumor on the immune system.

Occasionally, tumor cells release substances into the bloodstream that cause symptoms not usually associated with a tumor. For example, some tumors of the pancreas produce substances that lead to blood clots in the vessels of the lower extremities.Some lung cancers produce hormone-like substances that affect blood calcium levels, which affects the nerves and muscles, leading to weakness and dizziness.

The role of signs and symptoms in the diagnosis of cancer

The earlier the tumor is detected, the more effective the treatment. Early detection of a tumor usually means that treatment will be started when the cancer is small and has not yet spread to other parts of the body. This usually means a greater likelihood of a cure, especially if surgery is the primary treatment.

Skin melanoma is a good example of the importance of early detection of a tumor. It is easily removable if it has not yet grown deep into the skin. In this case, the 5-year survival rate in this case reaches 100%. However, if melanoma spreads to other parts of the body, survival is dramatically reduced.

Sometimes the symptoms are ignored due to the fact that the person is scared of the possible consequences and refuses to see a doctor, or considers the emerging symptom to be insignificant. Common symptoms such as fatigue are often not associated with cancer and therefore are often overlooked, especially when there is a clear cause or when they are temporary.Similarly, the patient may think that a more specific symptom such as a tumor formation in the mammary gland is a simple cyst that will heal on its own. However, such symptoms cannot be ignored, especially if they exist for a long period of time, for example, a week, or there is a negative trend.

In some cases, it is possible to detect cancer before symptoms appear. This can be done with a special examination of people who do not have any symptoms of cancer.However, this does not mean that you should hide your symptoms from your doctor.

General signs and symptoms of cancer

It is important to be aware of some common (non-specific) signs and symptoms of cancer. These include unexplained weight loss, fever, fatigue, pain, and skin changes. Of course, it must be remembered that the presence of some of them does not necessarily mean the presence of a tumor. There are many other conditions that can be accompanied by similar signs and symptoms.

Unexplained weight loss:

Most people with cancer experience weight loss at some point in their illness. Unexplained weight loss of 4-5 kg ​​may be the first sign of cancer, especially cancer of the pancreas, stomach, esophagus, or lung.

Temperature rise (fever):

A rise in temperature is often observed in cancer and most often in a widespread process. Almost all cancer patients develop a fever at some stage in their illness, especially if treatment affects the immune system and increases susceptibility to infection.Less commonly, fever can be an early sign of cancer, such as with Hodgkin’s disease (lymphogranulomatosis).

Increased fatigue:

Increased fatigue can be an important symptom as the disease progresses. However, fatigue and weakness can occur at an early stage, especially if the cancer causes chronic blood loss, which occurs in colon or stomach cancer.


Pain can be an early sign of several tumors, such as bone or testicle.Most often, however, pain is a symptom of a common process.

Skin changes:

In addition to skin tumors, some internal cancers can cause visible skin signs such as darkening of the skin (hyperpigmentation), yellowing (jaundice), redness (erythema), itching, or excess hair growth.

Specific signs and symptoms of cancer

In addition to the above general symptoms, it is necessary to know other general symptoms that can be observed in cancer.Again, it should be pointed out that these signs and symptoms do not necessarily speak in favor of cancer, as they are also found in other diseases. However, you should tell your doctor about the signs and symptoms that have appeared in order to make a decision about the examination.

Disorder of stool or bladder function:

Chronic constipation, diarrhea, or a change in the amount of stool may indicate the presence of colon cancer. Pain when urinating, blood in the urine, or changes in bladder function (more frequent or less frequent urination) may be associated with bladder or prostate cancer.These changes must be urgently reported to the doctor.

Non-healing wound or ulcer:

Skin cancers may bleed and resemble a wound or ulcer. A long-standing mouth ulcer can be oral cancer, especially in those who smoke, chew tobacco, or frequently drink alcohol. Ulcers on the penis or vagina can be signs of infection or early cancer and should therefore be examined.

Unusual bleeding or discharge:

Unusual bleeding may occur with early or advanced cancer.Blood in sputum can be a sign of lung cancer. Blood in your stool (or the presence of dark or black stool) can be a sign of colon or rectal cancer. Cancer of the cervix or the uterus itself can lead to bleeding from the vagina. Blood in the urine is a sign of possible bladder or kidney cancer. Discharge of blood from the nipple can be a sign of breast cancer.

Lump or tumor formation in the mammary gland or other parts of the body:

Many tumors can be felt through the skin, especially in the mammary gland, testes, lymph nodes and soft tissues of the body.A lump or tumor formation may be the first signs of early or advanced cancer. Any such finding must be reported to the doctor, especially if you have just discovered it or the tumor (induration) has begun to increase in size.

Indigestion or difficulty swallowing:

While these symptoms can occur in a variety of conditions, they can also indicate cancer of the esophagus, stomach, or pharynx.

Change of wart or mole:

Any changes in color, shape, borders or size of these formations should be immediately reported to the doctor.The skin lesion may turn out to be melanoma, which, if diagnosed early, responds well to treatment.

Irritant cough or hoarseness:

A prolonged, persistent cough may be a sign of lung cancer. Hoarseness of the voice is a possible sign of cancer of the larynx or thyroid gland.

Oncologists have listed the hidden signs of lung cancer – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Lung cancer is considered one of the most common and aggressive forms of cancer.The classic symptoms include persistent coughing, shortness of breath, and feeling tired. However, there are five signs of a malignant tumor that may not be suspicious. They were listed by experts from the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation in the UK.

One of the subtle symptoms is the enlargement of the fingertips, which in addition become more curved. According to doctors, such a change in the shape of the limbs occurs when the amount of oxygen in the blood decreases, which often indicates heart and lung disease.

Sudden facial swelling can also be a symptom. It can occur due to obstruction of the superior vena cava – through which blood from the upper half of the body is transferred to the heart. An obstruction occurs when something inhibits normal blood flow. It may be disturbed by pressure on a vein by a tumor that has formed. In addition, swelling of the face may be due to the spread of cancer to nearby lymph nodes.

It is worth paying attention to back and shoulder pains, although it is believed that lung diseases are given to the chest.According to the fund’s experts, this is one of the most unexpected signs.

A sharp weight loss of more than three kilograms, for no apparent reason – diet, exercise, severe stress – can also be associated with the appearance of a malignant tumor. Cancer cells consume large amounts of energy and, as a rule, secrete substances that alter the way in which the energy received from food is processed in the body.

– Usually, severe weight loss is characteristic of cancer of the pancreas, stomach, esophagus.But people with lung cancer also have it, because they have problems with food intake, as well as a feeling of nausea and lack of appetite, experts noted.

The last warning sign listed is recurrent chest infections.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 60 thousand cases of lung cancer are registered in Russia every year, of which only a third is detected at an early stage.Late diagnosis is one of the main causes of high mortality from this type of oncology. The disease usually appears late, as there are no pain receptors in the lungs. Almost half of these diagnoses are made in people under the age of 65, most of them men. 85-90 percent of lung cancer cases are caused by cigarette smoking, including second-hand cigarette smoking.

Tumor lysis syndrome – together

Prevention and treatment of tumor lysis syndrome

Doctors can carry out activities aimed at the prevention of tumor lysis syndrome and the treatment of developing metabolic disorders.For prophylaxis in children at high risk, fluid balance therapy and various medications are used. Some patients may be given less intense chemotherapy for a short time before starting aggressive therapy so that lysis of the tumor is slower. This makes it easier to treat, help the body maintain chemical balance, and prevent kidney damage. Management of tumor lysis syndrome includes monitoring blood test results, treating specific metabolic disorders, and supporting kidney function.

Monitoring laboratory test results and symptoms

It is necessary to carefully monitor the condition of patients at high risk of developing tumor lysis syndrome, especially in the first week of treatment. Timely medical attention can reduce toxic effects on the body.

Monitoring for tumor lysis syndrome should include the following:

  • Assessment of symptoms
  • Measurement of urine volume during urination
  • Conducting laboratory tests to determine levels of potassium, phosphate, calcium, uric acid, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine and lactate dehydrogenase

The follow-up plan depends on whether the patient is at high, intermediate or low risk.

Fluid balance fluid therapy

As a rule, fluid infusion therapy begins at the time of diagnosis and continues throughout the course of chemotherapy. Adequate replenishment of fluid loss is essential to prevent chemical imbalances in the blood and to maintain kidney function. Patients with reduced daily urine volume should be closely monitored. Some patients may need to be given a diuretic (diuretic) or even dialysis to filter the blood until the kidneys are working properly.

Medicines to lower uric acid levels

Medicines for the treatment of elevated uric acid levels (hyperuricemia) in children with tumor lysis syndrome include allopurinol and rasburicase.

Allopurinol prevents the formation of uric acid. Typically, patients take allopurinol 2–3 days before starting chemotherapy and continue for 10–14 days. This drug is mainly used for prophylaxis.

Rasburicase destroys uric acid and reduces its concentration in the blood. The drug acts quickly, usually within 4 hours. Rasburicase can be used to prevent and treat high concentrations of uric acid. However, this drug is contraindicated in patients with G6PDH deficiency. In addition, rasburicase is more expensive than allopurinol and is not available everywhere.

Medicines to reduce the concentration of phosphates

Certain drugs may be prescribed to lower blood phosphate levels.These so-called. Phosphate binders bind to the phosphate group and prevent absorption from the digestive tract. Examples of such drugs are lanthanum and aluminum hydroxide (Amphozel®).

Treatment of electrolyte imbalance

Electrolyte imbalances (increased potassium and phosphate levels and decreased calcium levels) can often be corrected by maintaining kidney function. However, these disorders can pose an immediate threat to the patient and require specific treatment.Adequate fluid replacement is essential. During the treatment of tumor lysis syndrome, some electrolytes should be excluded from fluid therapy solutions.


The most common complication of tumor lysis syndrome is kidney damage. The increased concentration of uric acid leads to the formation of crystals in the kidney tubules, the small structures of the kidneys that filter the blood. Each stage of treatment – replenishing fluid loss, prescribing diuretics, prophylactic allopurinol or rasburicase – is aimed at protecting the kidneys.However, even with proper medical attention, kidney function can be impaired. Patients may need dialysis to filter the blood until the kidneys heal. In most patients, kidney function slowly recovers over time. However, in some people, tumor lysis syndrome can lead to permanent kidney damage, even with preventive measures.

Tumor lysis syndrome is rare. However, it can cause serious illness.Patients at risk should be closely monitored to eliminate metabolic disorders. It is important to follow the recommendations for drinking, diet and medication. Your healthcare provider can talk in detail about Tumor Lysis Syndrome and advise if your child is at risk. Always inform your doctor about any health problems and changes in symptoms during or after treatment.

Lung cancer – Oncology CLINIC INNOVATION

The main symptoms of the disease include: cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, hemoptysis, weight loss.Identification of most of these signs should alert and force you to urgently consult a doctor. It should be noted that lung cancer, the signs of which are nonspecific, i.e. characteristic of many diseases of the respiratory system. For this reason, unfortunately, many patients are in no hurry to sound the alarm.

In addition, it is necessary to pay attention to such indirect signs as lethargy, apathy, loss of proper activity, a slight causeless increase in body temperature. The latter can disguise lung cancer as sluggish bronchitis or pneumonia.

At the very beginning of the disease lung cancer is most often hidden under the “mask” of loss of vitality, which is characterized by a slight decrease in working capacity, increased fatigue, weakening of interest and apathy. Subsequently, in the majority of patients lung cancer shows signs under the “mask” of various respiratory diseases: catarrh of the respiratory tract, repeated episodes of influenza, bronchitis, pneumonia, etc.n. Most often, this is the third period of the development of the disease, and at this time it is possible to establish the phenomena of concomitant pneumonia. In patients, the body temperature periodically rises, arises, then passes and a slight malaise may recur again. As a rule, taking antipyretic and anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as the so-called “home methods”, quickly eliminate (for a while) these phenomena. Only repeated bouts of malaise, repeated for 1-2 months, suggest that patients need to seek medical help.

Symptoms of lung cancer may differ depending on a number of factors, the main of which are the following: the place where the primary tumor occurs – in the bronchus (central cancer) or in the lung tissue (peripheral cancer), the degree of compression of adjacent with a tumor of organs, the presence of metastases.

The whole truth about metastases. Even with stage IV, there are chances

The words “cancer” and “tumor” terrify everyone who first encountered a cancer diagnosis.But sometimes, in the course of fighting a serious illness, people learn that there is an even more frightening word – “metastases”. It is these screenings of a malignant tumor that are the main enemy of cancer patients. Fortunately, the treatment outcomes for patients with metastatic cancer are getting better every year.

All the most important about metastases is told by our expert – the head of the oncology department No. 4 of the State Clinical Hospital No. 1 of the DZM, the head of the Department of Oncology of the Novosibirsk State Institute of Medical Sciences, Doctor of Medical Sciences, surgeon-oncologist Vladimir Konstantinovich Lyadov.

The most frequent and alarming question for any cancer patient is what is his individual risk of developing distant metastases (that is, screening of primary tumor cells to other organs). Indeed, it is the presence of metastases that is the hallmark of the last, most common stage IV of cancer.

Cells that have lost control

Different malignant tumors have their own characteristics. No wonder they say that each cancer is unique. Nevertheless, there are some universal features and patterns that unite almost any neoplasm.For example, all “malignant” tumors have the property of metastasizing, that is, spreading throughout the body. And benign tumors develop only in the place where they first appeared.

Any tumor is a proliferation of cells of an organ or tissue. Due to genetic changes (mutations) that have occurred in them, cells lose their ability to restrict their growth and multiply rapidly in the body. At this stage, the tumor may still be benign. For example, these are benign neoplasms (polyps) of the colon mucosa.But if, as a result of further mutations, the cells are able not only to divide uncontrollably, but also to spread with the flow of lymph and blood throughout the body, as well as to take root in other organs, giving rise to new foci of cancer, then such tumors are called malignant. At the moment when new tumor foci are detected with the help of special studies (ultrasound, computed, magnetic resonance or positron emission tomography – CT, MRI, PET), the doctor can diagnose the presence of a common stage of cancer in the patient.Allocate regional metastases – cancer foci in the lymph nodes closest to the tumor – this is a sign of a locally advanced process. If new tumors affect several organs, then these are the so-called distant metastases, which are a sign of IV, the most common stage of cancer.

Take a seat

Many patients believe that only large tumors can be screened. This is not true. Even tiny foci of tumor tissue, which are about one cubic millimeter in size, are able to release their cells into the bloodstream.There are such circulating tumor cells in the blood of every cancer patient. But these are not metastases yet. Even outside the primary focus, such cells are under the control of the immune system; they are not yet able to take root and grow in the body. Under the influence of certain factors, these cells take root in other organs and can subsequently give rise to the growth of metastasis. Why this is happening is not fully established yet. For example, in some tumors, metastases may appear 15-20 years after seemingly successful treatment.

In order to survive, single tumor cells, carried by blood, find a so-called premetastatic niche in the body, where they can stay for quite a long time. Sometimes for years. There are conditions for them to preserve, but there are still no new vessels, thanks to which the tumor can feed. However, cancer cells can use special molecules to create new vessels in a process called neoangiogenesis. After the tumor focus is connected to the circulatory system by means of the neoangiogenesis process, the metastasis begins to grow rapidly.

Metastases affect various organs. Each type of cancer has its own favorite places where the tumor is screened out first. For example, prostate cancer often metastasizes to the bone. But in cancer of the pancreas or colon, the appearance of metastases in the bones speaks of the very last stage, since these tumors primarily affect the liver or lungs. Even tumors located in different parts of the same organ behave differently. For example, neoplasms of the colon on the right react to some drugs, and tumors on the left to others, which are caused by various genetic changes in the cells.Doctors use this knowledge to plan treatment.

Identify on time

Patients often shift responsibility for their lives and health exclusively to doctors. But in many respects it is also the own responsibility of the sick person. For example, some patients, having undergone treatment for a tumor and wanting to forget this difficult period, refuse further observation. However, “burying your head in the sand” with such a serious illness is a bad tactic. Only with timely, early detection of metastases are the chances of successful treatment maximized.

After the treatment, each patient must receive his own examination scheme from the doctor. It depends on the type and stage of cancer, as well as on the possibilities that exist in the country and the medical institution. The most intensive monitoring is carried out in the first years after treatment. According to Russian recommendations, in the first year, examinations are carried out every three months, in the second and subsequent ones, before the expiration of 5 years – once every six months. It is believed that 90% of metastases appear within 5 years after the treatment, therefore, when the patient reaches this period, he is either removed from the register or transferred to observation once a year.

Each survey method has its own precision. Roughly speaking, CT can detect 90 out of 100 patients with metastases, and ultrasound and X-ray for most types of cancer will be informative only in 70%. Therefore, various types of tomography are most often recommended, allowing to obtain images of body parts with a resolution of up to 1 mm. To enhance the contrast of the image, these studies are often carried out with contrast – the patient drinks or receives intravenous contrast agents that significantly increase the accuracy of the examination.

Just forward!

Treatment of metastatic disease is much more complicated and so far often less effective than treatment of primary cancer. But this is not a reason to refuse it. Every year there are more and more medical opportunities for such patients. Moreover, they have chances not only to prolong life, but sometimes even to be cured.

For example, in Russia, in 25-30% of patients with colon cancer, distant metastases are immediately detected at the time of diagnosis.Even 20 years ago, oncologists could offer almost nothing to such patients, and today one in four can claim to have long years of life or even a complete cure. For example, some patients with such a diagnosis live 10 or more years without manifestations of diseases.

Metastatic cancer is treated with the same methods as the primary one: with the help of surgery, radiation and medication. But drug therapy is usually the most effective, since it is a systemic method of treatment that allows you to affect both visible tumor cells and those that cannot yet be recognized using existing examination methods.

Basic drug treatment is a traditional cytotoxic chemotherapy that suppresses all rapidly dividing cells in the body. The drugs used are toxic, therefore, by killing cancer cells, they also negatively affect other rapidly dividing cells. First of all, on the cells of the mucous membrane and hair follicles. And even despite the broad possibilities of accompanying therapy, which helps to reduce the severity of side effects, this is a rather aggressive type of treatment. Fortunately, today it is possible to add more personalized, targeted therapy to it.These are the so-called targeted drugs that act strictly on a specific molecular target in the tumor. When they first appeared, scientists hoped that targeted drugs would completely replace chemotherapy. But it turned out that this is not yet possible. But these two types of treatment perfectly complement each other, allowing you to significantly slow down or even stop tumor growth. For example, in one of the most aggressive types of breast cancer, targeted drugs against the HER-2 molecule have been used for more than 15 years, which have proved to be very effective against this previously completely unfavorable type of cancer.

In recent years, drugs have been developed that allow you to activate the patient’s own immune system and “tune” it against tumor cells. Thanks to immunotherapy, a huge group of previously considered incurable patients received hope for a cure! Every year, oncologists receive new and effective methods of fighting cancer, including metastases.