You should know some of the general (non-specific) signs and symptoms of cancer. But remember , having any of these does not mean that you have cancer – many other things cause these signs and symptoms, too.
Unexplained weight loss
Most people with cancer will lose weight at some point. An unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds or more (when you’re not trying to lose weight) may be the first sign of cancer. This happens most often with cancers of the pancreas, stomach, esophagus, or lung.
Fever is very common with cancer, but it more often happens after cancer has spread from where it started. Almost all patients with cancer will have fever at some time, especially if the cancer or its treatment affects the immune system. This can make it harder for the body to fight infection. Less often, fever may be an early sign of cancer, such as blood cancers like leukemia or lymphoma.
Fatigue is extreme tiredness that does not get better with rest. It may be an important symptom as cancer grows. It may happen early, though, in cancers like leukemia, or if the cancer is causing blood loss, which can happen with some colon or stomach cancers.
Pain may be an early symptom with some cancers such as bone cancers or testicular cancer. A headache that does not go away or respond to treatment may be a symptom of a brain tumor. Back pain can be a symptom of cancer of the colon, rectum, or ovary. Most often, pain that is linked to cancer is a symptom of cancer that has already metastasized (spread from where it started).
Along with cancers of the skin (see the next section), some other cancers can cause skin symptoms or signs that can be seen. These signs and symptoms include:
darker looking skin (hyperpigmentation)
yellowish skin and eyes (jaundice)
reddened skin (erythema)
excessive hair growth
Lung cancer symptoms are commonly not experienced until the disease had advanced, sometimes delaying diagnosis. The symptoms of lung cancer also mimic the symptoms of other benign illnesses.
The most common lung cancer symptoms experienced are :
1.Onset of wheezing
2.Recurrent pneumonia or bronchitis
3.Shortness of breath
4.A persistent cough that does not go away
5.Coughing up blood
7.Weight loss or loss of appetite
If you are experiencing any of the above Lung cancer symptoms, please see your doctor. The symptoms described are also symptoms for many other illnesses. Consult your physician for a definitive diagnosis.