7 Symptoms of Cancer You Should Not Ignore

Mar 2, 2018,

No matter how strong anyone is, throughout the world, no one wants to hear, “you have cancer”.

Now this is not just because it is a bad news to convey, and doctors do not have it easy breaking the news, then it takes its toll on the individual and close family members. It can lead to depressive illnesses and some huge financial indebtedness.

So, talking about 7 cancer symptoms you should not ignore is making you aware of symptoms that may suggest that you have a cancer. Please note that these 7 symptoms are not sacrosanct, as there could be other reasons why you may be experiencing these same symptoms.

It is important that you familiarize yourself with these symptoms because the major part in the management of any type of cancer is early diagnosis and these 7 symptoms can afford you that opportunity.

Please also remember that it is not the right time to panic, just take a deep breath, relax and talk to a doctor about it (you can do that now, as you read this article). Also, it is not the right time to ignore that subtle cough you have had for months now, that subtle weight gain or weight loss, or that subtle swelling that has been growing gradually on your body for years now; or any other symptom in particular. Why don’t you talk to a doctor about it to find out if it is comprises one of those cancer symptoms you must not ignore.

What are these 7 cancer symptoms you must not ignore?

  • Unusual swelling or lump in any part of your body

This is an important symptom because a couple of cancers can be felt through the skin. Some of these swellings are mostly painless and slow growing (sometimes over a couple of months to years). These types of cancers that can be felt through the skin include breast cancer and testicular cancer. The lymph nodes are organs that drain lymph throughout the body, they can appear as discrete swellings located for example in the armpit and the shoulder region; they represent some type of cancers in different other regions of the body, e.g. gastric (stomach) cancer.

  • Unexplainable weight gain or weight loss

Weight loss or weight gain which cannot be accounted for or that which cannot be explained for by illnesses or other diseased states is an important symptom you should not ignore. One of the symptoms associated with cancer is nausea and loss of appetite—recurrence nature of these two symptoms might lead to weight loss. Furthermore, cancers of the pancreas, stomach and esophagus can lead to decreased absorption of nutrients and lead to weight loss.

Vis-à-vis weight can be due to a slow growing cancer that is mostly located in the abdomen for example, ovarian. This type may be adding up weight to your as it builds up gradually within your abdomen.

  • White spots in the mouth

This is often associated with smoking or the use of tobacco, especially for those who have this habit a considerable number of years. White patches develop inside the mouth and on the tongue—this may leukoplakia. Leukoplakia is a pre-cancerous growth that is frequently caused by local irritation of the oral mucous membrane. Needless to say, it is an important symptom that you should not ignore.

  • Unusual bleeding

You would have sustained one injury at a point in time, I’m sure it didn’t take time for it to stop. If you are female, your menstrual flow would possible end about the 5th or 6th day. However, in some rare cases, bleeding continues without any signs of stopping or your menses continues to flow. You may even cough out blood; have bloody stools or frank blood while trying to stool or even have bloody urine. These whole symptoms could be symptoms of an endometrial cancer, cervical cancer, blood cancer, colon (intestine) cancer, renal (kidney) or a lung cancer. Therefore, it is wise not to ignore them.

  • Bowel or bladder habit change

If you notice a change in your bowel habit which could be increasing/worsening constipation or passage of loose watery stools (diarrhea) with or without blood; it could be a symptom of colon or rectal cancer. Also, associated painful, frequent, bloody urine could be a symptom of prostate or bladder cancer.

  • Chronic pain

Some cancers such as bone cancer or testicular cancer may cause pain. Some cancers can also metastasize (send cancerous cells) to the bone, such as the vertebra, and cause chronic pain. This type of pain is one that is not readily relieved by paracetamol or the regular NSAIDS. Chronic, recurrent pain isn’t one of the symptoms you should ignore.

  • Fever

Fever is very common with cancer, but it happens more often after cancer has spread. Less often, fever is an early sign of cancer, such as blood cancers like leukemia or lymphoma. Nearly all cancer patients will have fever at some point, especially if the disease or its treatment affects the immune system.


Now that you have known these cancer symptoms, what would you like to do?

  1. Book a mammogram or a breast USS? (breast cancer)
  2. Book a prostate specific antigen (PSA)? (prostate cancer)
  3. Book an endoscopy? (gastrointestinal cancer)
  4. Book a chest X-ray? (lung cancer)

Kindly go to book a lab to book anyone of the above investigations.

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