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Cancer Signs and Symptoms

Cancer gives you no symptoms or signs that exclusively indicate the disease. Every complaint for cancer can explain a harmless condition as well. If you have symptoms, however, you should see a doctor for further evaluation. Some common symptoms are as follows:

  • Persistent cough or blood-tinged saliva

These symptoms usually represent simple infections such as bronchitis or sinusitis.

They could be symptoms of Cancer of your lung, head, and neck. Anyone with a cough that lasts more than a month or with blood in the mucus that is coughed up should see a doctor.

  • A change in bowel habits

Doctors sometimes see pencil-thin stools with colon cancer.

Occasionally, cancer exhibits continuous diarrhea

Some people with Cancer feel as if they need to have a bowel movement and still feel that way after they have had a bowel movement. If any of these abnormal bowel complaints last more than a few days, they require evaluation.

  • Blood in your stool

A doctor always should investigate blood in your stool.

Hemorrhoids frequently cause rectal bleeding, but because hemorrhoids are so common, they may exist with Cancer. Therefore, even when you have hemorrhoids, you should have a doctor examine your entire intestinal tract when you have blood in your bowel movements.

X-rays may be enough.

Sometimes, when the source of your bleeding is entirely clear, these studies may not be needed.

  • Unexplained anemia

Anemia is a condition in which you have fewer than the expected number of red blood cells in your blood. Anemia should be investigated.

There are many kinds of anemia, but blood loss almost always causes iron deficiency anemia. Unless there is an obvious source of ongoing blood loss, as there is for menstruating women, this anemia needs to be explained.

Many cancers can cause anemia, but bowel Cancer most commonly cause iron deficiency anemia. Evaluation should include endoscopy or x-ray studies of your upper and lower intestinal tracts.

  • Breast lump or breast discharge

Most breast lumps are noncancerous tumors such as fibroadenomas or cysts. But all breast lumps need to be thoroughly investigated.

A negative mammogram result is not sufficient to evaluate a breast lump.

Generally, diagnosis requires a needle aspiration or biopsy (a small tissue sample).

Discharge from a breast is common. But some forms of discharge may be signs of cancer. If discharge is bloody or from only 1 nipple, further evaluation is recommended.

Women are advised to conduct monthly breast self-examinations.

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