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Cancer Signs and Symptoms


On account of World Cancer Day, we bring to you the signs and symptoms of various types of cancer. After all, forewarned is forearmed.

Change in bowel habits or bladder function
Long-term constipation, diarrhea, or a change in the size of the stool may be a sign of colon cancer.
Pain when passing urine, blood in the urine, or a change in bladder function (such as needing to pass urine more or less often than usual) could be related to bladder or prostate cancer.

Sores that do not heal
Skin cancers may bleed and look like sores that don’t heal.
A long-lasting sore in the mouth could be an oral cancer.

White patches inside the mouth or white spots on the tongue
White patches inside the mouth and white spots on the tongue may be leukoplakia. Leukoplakia is a pre-cancerous area that’s caused by frequent irritation. Any long-lasting mouth changes should be checked by a doctor or dentist right away.

Unusual bleeding or discharge
Unusual bleeding can happen in early or advanced cancer. Coughing up blood in the sputum (phlegm) may be a sign of lung cancer.
Blood in the stool (which can look like very dark or black stool) could be a sign of colon or rectal cancer.
Cancer of the cervix or the endometrium
(lining of the uterus) can cause abnormal vaginal bleeding.
Blood in the urine may be a sign of bladder or kidney cancer.

Thickening or lump in the breast or other parts of the body
Many cancers can be felt through the skin. These cancers occur mostly in the breast, testicle, lymph nodes (glands), and the soft tissues of the body. A lump or thickening may be an early or late sign of cancer and should be reported to a doctor, especially if you’ve just found it or notice it has grown in size.

Recent change in a wart or mole or any new skin change
Any wart, mole, or freckle that changes color, size, or shape, or that loses its sharp border should be seen by a doctor right away. Any other skin changes should be reported, too. A skin change may be a melanoma which, if found early, can be treated successfully.

Nagging cough or hoarseness
A cough that does not go away may be a sign of lung cancer.
Hoarseness can be a sign of cancer of the voice box (larynx) or thyroid gland.


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Published on:4 Feb, 2014

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