10 Common Cancer Symptoms You Should Never Ignore

4 minute read

By Editorial Staff

Cancer stands as one of the most formidable foes, claiming millions of lives annually and leaving a mark on society. Fortunately, you can learn everything you need to know about common cancer symptoms with a search online right now.

While cancer symptoms can vary significantly between types, understanding and recognizing the common signs can empower individuals to seek timely medical advice and perhaps steer their health journey towards a path of recovery and hope.

1. Headaches

Headaches are incredibly common. You can get a headache from dehydration, from staring at your computer screen for too long, or even from stress. But sometimes, persistent or common headaches can be a sign that something much more serious is happening inside your body.

Some headaches can be a symptom of cancer. Headaches can be a symptom of leukemia and lung cancer – or even a cancerous brain tumor. If you’re living with headaches that won’t go away, or more headaches than usual, it’s time to talk with your doctor.

2. Changes to Your Skin

Changes in your skin can be a sign of many different conditions. But sometimes, even subtle changes to your skin’s texture or appearance can be a clue about cancer.

Rashes, skin dimpling or puckering, and redness or tenderness can all be symptoms of cancer. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma can cause skin rashes, and breast cancer can cause redness. And skin cancer typically exhibits symptoms on your skin. Skin cancer can bring symptoms like sores, bumps, lesions, and changes to moles.

3. Fatigue

Fatigue could be a sign of many different health concerns. Often, the reason you’re feeling so exhausted is because your body is working overtime to heal or fight off something.

Most importantly, though, fatigue is a very common symptom of cancer. Many different types of cancer feature fatigue as a symptom, including leukemia, colon cancer, and stomach cancer.

4. Unusual Bleeding

Unusual bleeding is always concerning – you should contact your doctor any time you’re experiencing a surprising symptom like this. And while bleeding can sometimes be a harmless, one-time event, it could also be a much more serious symptom of a larger problem.

Bleeding is also a symptom of a number of different types of cancer. Where the unusual bleeding occurs is often a sign of where the cancer is likely located. For example, coughing up blood could be a symptom of lung cancer, whereas finding blood in your stool could signal colon cancer.

5. Unexplained Weight Loss

You might think that losing weight without trying to do so is a great thing. Unfortunately, though, unexplained weight loss can be a serious concern. If you’re losing weight and can’t figure out why, it’s time to visit your doctor.

The American Cancer Society notes that unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds or more could be the first sign of cancer. It’s a common symptom of pancreatic, stomach, esophageal, and lung cancers. As cancer cells grow within the body, you can begin to lose weight rapidly or without realizing you’re sick.

6. A Cough That Won’t Go Away

While a long-lasting cough that won’t go away can indicate potentially serious health issues like pneumonia, it could also be a symptom of cancer.

A persistent cough is commonly a sign of lung cancer. However, it can also be a sign of cancer of the larynx or the thyroid. It’s important to make sure you get your cough checked out if it lasts longer than usual, or if it simply won’t go away.

7. Bloating

Bloating is a very common phenomenon. Usually, bloating isn’t something to worry about – but if your bloating is lasting a bit longer than usual, it could be a hint of a serious health concern.

If you notice you’re bloating more often than usual or you’re experiencing bloating that doesn’t go away after a week or two, you might be experiencing a cancer symptom. Constant bloating is a sign of many different cancers, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, and gastrointestinal cancer.

8. Pain in Different Areas of the Body

Aches and pains are completely natural, especially as you get older. However, when that pain is centered in a particular area of the body and doesn’t get better over time, it’s time to visit your doctor.

Pain that doesn’t stop with treatment or time can be a symptom of different cancers. Brain cancer, colon cancer, and ovarian cancer can all cause pain in certain areas of the body, like the head and back.

9. Lumps Under the Skin

If you notice a lump or bump underneath your skin anywhere on the body, there’s reason to be concerned. Unless that lump has been present for a while – and has already been checked out by a doctor – you may be feeling one of the physical signs of cancer.

Lumps are a common cancer identifier. In fact, they can be the first sign of cancer. For example, breast cancer is often noticed when a lump appears in the breast. Lumps in the testicles can be an indicator of testicular cancer. Even lymph nodes can become more pronounced or lump-like, which may be a sign of lymphoma.

10. Fever

Although cancer doesn’t seem associated with body temperature, a fever is often a symptom. In some types of cancer, like leukemia and lymphoma, a fever can be the very first sign of the disease. As the American Cancer Society notes, fevers are such a common cancer symptom that nearly everyone who has cancer will have a fever at some point.

Early Detection is Crucial

Being aware and vigilant is crucial in identifying the early signs of cancer, a disease that manifests in various ways and forms. Let this information act as a guide, leading the way to additional online research and a greater awareness of cancer’s reach. Remember, early detection and thoughtful discussions with healthcare providers can help you take prompt action against the threat of undiagnosed cancer.

Editorial Staff