Early Signs of Cancer in Your Body You Must Know About
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Weakness and fatigue
Generalized fatigue and weakness are a symptom of so many different types of cancer that you should see in combination with other symptoms. But when you feel exhausted without explanation and do not respond to sleep, talk to your doctor.
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Unexplained Weight Loss
Weight loss for no known reason, not through stress or change in diet or exercise is called unexplained weight loss. It is a common sign in the early stages of some types of cancer. Sixty percent of people with lung cancer and eighty percent of people with stomach, pancreas or esophageal cancer have lost a significant amount of weight at the time they are diagnosed. Although it is often characterized by loss of appetite, some people in the early stages of cancer may still be eating normally and still lose weight. If you are not on a diet and lose more than five percent of your normal weight in one month, or ten percent in six months, you should ask your doctor to investigate, as this may be the first sign of cancer.
Difficulty to Swallow
Difficulty swallowing is most commonly associated with esophageal or throat cancer and, sometimes, it is also one of the first signs of lung cancer.
A Chronic Cough or Chest Pain
Several types of cancer, including leukemia and lung tumors, can cause symptoms that mimic a cough or bronchitis. Some patients with lung cancer report chest pain that extends to the shoulder or down the arm.
Red, Sore or Swollen Breasts
These symptoms may indicate inflammatory breast cancer. Call your doctor about any unexplained changes in your breasts.
Changes in the Nails
Unexplained changes in fingernails can be a sign of several types of cancer. A brown or black stripe or a spot under the nail may indicate skin cancer, while recently discovered "discoing" (increased ends of fingers with nails that curl over the tips) may be a sign of cancer of the skin and lung. Pale or white nails can sometimes be a sign of liver cancer.
Short of Breath
Shortness of breath, dyspnea, is characterized by a feeling of inability to get enough air. It can be described as an oppression or feeling of suffocation. Some types of cancer can grow very close to the tissue that surrounds your heart. This can interfere with the amount of blood the heart can pump and can cause difficulty breathing. Cancer in or near the lungs can cause a blockage in tubes that carry air. Shortness of breath is also common in breast cancer tumors. When there is fluid accumulation in the abdomen, as is common in ovarian or liver cancer, the increased pressure on the diaphragm makes it difficult for the lungs to expand when inhaled. In addition, many types of cancer can cause anemia, which can leave you breathless because your body carries less oxygen. Ask your doctors to investigate any feeling of shortness of breath.
Changes in Bladder Habits
Changes in bladder function can include a variety of symptoms. The need to urinate frequently, to feel pain or burning when going, or the frequent need to urinate, whether something is produced or not, are all possible signs that require investigation. Cancer can develop in the bladder, the kidneys, the renal pelvis (the part of the urine is collected from the kidneys) or the ureter (the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder). Tumors can also cause incontinence and urinate when you do not intend to. Needing urination more often or more urgently than usual can also be a sign of ovarian cancer. Prostate cancer can also cause a sudden and urgent need to urinate, wake up at night to go to the bathroom, dribble the urine after thinking it is over, starts urinating and urinate more often day or night. Knowing what changes to take into account may mean finding cancer early enough to have a greater chance of treating it successfully.
Pelvic or Abdominal Pain
Pain and cramping in the pelvis and abdomen can go hand in hand with the swelling that often indicates ovarian cancer. Leukemia can also cause abdominal pain as a result of an enlarged spleen.
Pain in the Back or Lower Right
Many cancer patients say that this was the first sign of liver cancer. Breast cancer is also often diagnosed through back pain, which can occur when a breast tumor presses back into the chest, or when cancer spreads to the spine or ribs.