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20 Cancer Symptoms You Should Not Ignore

Cancer is the second most general cause of death. It's more curable when caught earlier. Although some cancers develop totally without symptoms, some do have signs you will possibly ignore.

1. Fever

Fever might be a sign of early cancer in the blood such as leukemia or lymphoma. Fever may reveal colon and kidney cancer at an early stage as well.

2. Weight Loss For Reasons Unknown

Weight loss without known reasons, not through changes in diet or exercise is a common sign of cancers related to lung, stomach or pancreas.

3. Fatigue

Extreme fatigue that doesn't get better with rest can be a symptom of several cancer types such as colon cancer, stomach cancer, or leukemia.

4. Pain

Sometimes bone cancer or testicular cancer can cause pain. A headache that doesn't get better after long-time treatment may be a symptom of a brain tumor. Back pain may be a sign of cancer of the ovary or colon.

5. Skin Changes

Any freckle, mole, or wart that changes its color, shape, or size should be checked for skin cancer. Other skin changes can be a sign of cancer too, including darker looking skin, reddened skin, itching and yellowish eyes and skin.

6. Change in bowel or bladder habits

Long-term diarrhea, constipation or a change in the size of your stool can be a symptom of rectal or colon cancer. Pain when passing urine and blood in your urine can be related to bladder or prostate cancer.

7. Non-healing Sores

Common sores usually heal quickly. If you have persistent sores in areas like your mouth, you may have cancer and should raise concerns and see a doctor.

8. Unusual bleeding

Coughing up blood could be a sign of lung cancer. Blood in the stool can be a symptom of colon cancer. Blood in the urine can be a symptom of kidney or bladder cancer. A bloody discharge from the nipple can be a symptom of breast cancer.

9. Heartburn

Heartburn that doesn't go away or gets worse could mean cancer of the throat, stomach, or ovaries. Excessive food, alcohol, or stress can cause serious heartburn.

10. Lump

Most cancers can be felt through the skin. A lump that is usually hard, not painful, irregularly shaped or firmly attached deep in the soft tissue or under the skin is often caused by cancer.

11. Indigestion or Difficulty Swallowing

Mouth or throat cancers can make the swallowing difficult. It's also a common sign of various head and neck cancers such as esophageal, oropharyngeal cancer, thyroid, and laryngeal cancers.

12. Nagging Cough or Hoarseness

More than half of people who have a cough that just wouldn't go away are diagnosed with lung cancer. Excessive coughing is also common signs of laryngeal and thyroid cancer.

13. White spots in the mouth

White patches in the mouth or white spots on the tongue can be leukoplakia, which is precancerous and can become mouth cancer if it's not treated early.

14. Belly Pain and Depression

It rarely happens, but belly pain plus depression can be a sign of pancreatic cancer. But you don't need to worry unless this disease runs deep in your family.

15. Continued Itching

Precancerous conditions of the genital or anal areas can cause persistent itching. If the itching continues with over-the-counter topical medications, consult your doctor.

16. Shortness of Breath

Cancer in or near the lungs may cause a blockage of the tubes that carry air. Breathlessness is also common with breast cancer tumors, ovarian or liver cancer.

17. Yellowing skin

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Jaundice is yellowing of the eyes and skin. Most people with pancreatic cancer will have jaundice as one of the first symptoms. Normally, the liver releases bile which helps break down fats when ducting into the intestines. When the bile duct becomes blocked, the amount of bilirubin in the body will build up. Cancer can press on the duct and cause jaundice. 

18. Excessive or spontaneous bruising

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People tend to bruise more easily because blood vessels become weaker as they age. But if you have excessive bruising in strange places, this might be an early sign of leukemia. Leukemia impairs the blood's ability to carry oxygen, and this can lead to bruising.

19. Dark urine

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Dark urine is deeper in color than urine that is yellow in color. Dark urine can be different colors, usually brown, deep yellow, or maroon. Cancer in the kidney, pancreas, or liver could cause dark urine. Any change in color of the urine not due to certain medications or foods should be reported to your doctor. 

20. Nipple discharge

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If you are breastfeeding or pregnant, breast discharge is nothing to worry about. Otherwise, nipple discharge should be checked immediately, since it is the most common cancer symptom. Spontaneous nipple discharge that is not in clear color should be a warning.

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