Cancer Center

Cancer Symptoms

Cancer might occur wherever there is living tissue and can be present anywhere in the body. This means that a wide variety of symptoms may manifest. However, cancer does not necessarily manifest early symptoms. This means that symptoms of cancer will vary depending on the progression, or staging, of the cancer as well as its location. For example, some types of cancers located in hollow organs such as the intestines might go unnoticed until advanced stages because they cannot be felt. Some general symptoms of cancer include:

  • a hard time swallowing
  • a new mole or a change in an existing mole
  • a sore that does not heal for more than 6 weeks
  • a thickening or lump in the breast or any other part of the body
  • changes in bowel or bladder habits
  • discomfort after eating
  • feeling weak or very tired
  • hoarseness or a cough that does not go away
  • unusual bleeding or discharge
  • weight gain or loss with no known reason

General symptoms may be symptoms of other disorders, or even of benign tumours. Symptoms of specific cancers may exhibit symptoms different than those listed above. If you suspect you may be at a higher risk for a specific type of cancer, it's a good idea to seek information about symptoms of that specific cancer.

When to seek help
Cancer can go unnoticed in its early stages, and doctors have developed screening methods for common types of cancer, such as breast cancer, or testicular cancer. This is why it's important to talk with your doctor whenever you experience possible cancer symptoms to ensure good health, regardless of the cause of symptoms. These screening methods are designed to help a person detect possible cancer before it progresses too far too late. Early detection and early treatment of cancer is always preferable to treating cancer too late.

What happens if you are experiencing symptoms of a potential cancer? How will your doctor evaluate you? Perhaps you just want to make sure that you don't have cancer, or perhaps you are worried that a cancer that was fought off years ago has come back. In order to learn about the diagnosis process for cancer and cancer facts, click here for additional information.

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