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Understanding Cancer -- Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Cancer?

In its early stages, cancer may have no symptoms, but eventually a malignant tumor will grow large enough to be detected. 

As it continues to grow, it may press on nerves and produce pain, penetrate blood vessels and cause bleeding, or interfere with the function of a body organ or system.

Understanding Cancer

The Seven Warning Signs of Cancer

The American Cancer Society uses the word C-A-U-T-I-O-N to help recognize the seven early signs of cancer:

Change in bowel or bladder habits

A sore that does not heal

Unusual bleeding or discharge

Thickening or lump in the breast, testicles, or elsewhere

Indigestion or difficulty swallowing

Obvious change in the size, color, shape, or thickness of a wart, mole, or mouth sore

Nagging cough or hoarseness

The following symptoms may also signal the presence of some types of cancer:

  • Persistent headaches
  • Unexplained loss of weight or loss of appetite
  • Chronic pain in bones or any other areas of the body
  • Persistent fatigue, nausea, or vomiting
  • Persistent low-grade fever, either constant or intermittent
  • Repeated infection

 

Call Your Doctor About Cancer if:

You develop symptoms that may signal cancer, that are specifically not related to another cause, or that persist for more than two weeks. If this occurs, schedule a medical examination. If the cause of your symptoms is cancer, early diagnosis and treatment will offer a better chance of a positive prognosis.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Sujana Movva, MD on March 12, 2014

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