Cancer Symptoms That Often Go Unnoticed

Cancer causes a variety of symptoms depending on its location in the body, how much it has spread and how it affects other organs and tissues. Cancer symptoms may not be obvious, and they can manifest as minor changes such as persistent back pain or a nagging cough which is not taken seriously. Knowing the symptoms of cancer is complicated because cancer is a group of diseases that can cause many symptoms or signs.

Treatment for cancer works best when the disease is caught early. It is vital to notice anything unusual that may seem like a cancer indicator and have it checked. Not all subtle symptoms are a sign of cancer though. Here are some of the red cancer flags that are often overlooked:

  • Unexplained weight loss – Sudden weight loss can be a sign of cancer especially for lung, esophageal or stomach cancers. This is because cancer deprives normal cells of necessary nutrients needed. Poor appetite reduces the desire to eat, especially during cancer treatment.
  • Fevers and night sweats – A fever is a natural response by the body to illness or infections (bacterial or viral). Fevers do not usually indicate cancer but are common in cancer patients especially when they disrupt the immune system. The types of cancer that cause fever are lymphoma and leukemia. The fevers can also cause night sweats.
  • Unexplained pains and aches – Pain in the body is a signal of a problem, especially if it doesn’t go away after treatment. Chronic pain could indicate a brain tumor, colorectal, ovarian, kidney bone or testicular cancer. A brain tumor is linked with headaches while colorectal, ovarian and kidney cancers cause back pain. Testicular cancer is a result of a swollen testicle.

The symptoms highlighted above are not specific to cancer. It is therefore important to visit the doctor for confirmation.

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