There are many signs that could be indicative of cancer, however not everyone who experiences these signs have cancer. If they persist over the long term or grow worse, they should then be checked by a doctor.
General cancer signs
A lot of people who have cancer will at some stage lose weight. This loss of weight the reason for which is unknown is referred to as unexplained weight loss. An initial sign of cancer may be unexplained weight loss of ten pounds or above. This unexplained weight loss usually occurs with cancer of the esophagus, lung or pancreas.
Another common sign of cancer is fever. This is more common if the cancer has spread from the place it originated. Nearly all cancer patients will develop fever at some level. This is particularly so if the cancer itself or the treatment of it affects the immune system. The body will then find it more difficult to combat infection. For cancer of the blood such as lymphoma or leukemia, fever is not commonly among the first signs.
Fatigue and Pain
Another cancer sign may be fatigue. This is extensive tiredness that rest does not usually resolve. This could grow and be a significant indication of cancer. In cancers like leukemia, fatigue may occur in the early stages. Loss of blood may result from some cancers such as of the colon and the stomach. This could be a principal reason for feeling fatigue.
A sign of cancer may be pain. Bone cancers or cancer of the testicle are usually signaled by pain in the early stages. Also a headache that does not get better after treatment could be a sign of brain tumor. Cancer of the colon, the ovary or cancer of the rectum may be associated with back pains being felt. Generally cancer related pain is a sign of cancer that is spread in the body.
Cancer of the skin or other kinds of cancer may cause signs that can be seen on the skin. These signs may be yellowish skin and eyes, reddened skin, darker looking skin, itching or extensive hair growth.
Though there are general cancer signs, other specific cancer signs should be watched as they are important indicators.
Other cancer symptoms
Change in the size of stools, constipation or diarrhea over long periods could be a sign of cancer of the colon. Painful passing of urine, urine containing blood, or shift in bladder function such as passing urine either less or more than what is regular could be a sign of prostate or bladder cancer. These changes should be reported to a doctor.
Skin cancer may cause the skin to develop sores that seem like they do not get well. Oral cancer may give a sign of a constant sore in the mouth. This has to be taken care of immediately specifically for persons who smoke, drink alcohol or chew tobacco. Sores that erupt on the reproductive organs may be cancer signs and consultation with a doctor is urgent.