Signs and Symptoms of Cancer: A Must to Know for Everyone

Cancer! The word itself is dreadful. Nobody wish to get the news that he or his loved ones have been detected with this disease. However, some unfortunate people get to hear it and then start a long medical journey. Cancer has no cure found yet. It is treatable when it is detected in the early stage. There are certain cancers which are non-curable no matter how early you have found their existence. In this article, we are going to discuss about signs and symptoms of cancer as per the type of cancer.

The goal of any cancer treatment is to control the progression of the disease and to improve life expectancy of a patient. The treatment options depend on type of cancer, overall health and of course your choices as well. Some people might need one kind of treatment to control the disease while some may need to combine two or more types of treatment alternatives to get the best results. Your doctor will decide the best type of treatment after studying your health profile and progression of cancer. These treatment options help in controlling the symptoms and to lead a healthy life despite being detected with cancer.

Cancer is basically an abnormal, uncontrolled growth of cells which starts at any tissue or organ. When cancer cells grow they push organs which are nearby. Tumours are the commonest signs of any form of cancer. When cancer spreads throughout the body, it starts showing symptoms in the body part where it has reached. Extreme weakness could be a sign as cancer cells uses a lot of your energy leaving you exhausted and tired all the time. Though weakness could indicate any other health issues as well, a doctor’s opinion and a thorough diagnosis matters.

What are the most common signs and symptoms of cancer?

Every type of cancer shows different signs and symptoms. However, there are certain signs which are common for all. Let’s get to know what they are.

Unexpected weight loss

It is a common sign in people dealing with cancer of pancreas gland, stomach, lung or oesophagus or food pipe. Thought sudden weight loss is a major sign for these types of cancers, it can also occur in other forms of cancer.


It develops when the cancer has metastasized or has spread to the other body parts from its origin. Night sweats along with fever can be seen in some people. Almost everyone with cancer suffer from fever at some point of their medical journey.

A lump or tumour

Cancer of breasts, soft tissues, lymph nodes or testicles often shows development of a lump or thickening of the skin. A lump or a tumour can be a first or advanced sign of cancer.


This happens when the cancer has spread in the body. However, in cases of bone cancer or testicular cancer, pain could be an early sign. Back pain is seen commonly in people with ovarian, colon, pancreatic or rectal cancer. Those with brain tumours suffer from headaches that don’t get better.

Changes in bowel or bladder functioning

Colon cancer often shows signs such as constipation, diarrhea and other bowel related issues. Painful urination, bloody urine and changes in bladder functioning are some of the signs of bladder or prostate cancers.

Changes in the skin

Skin discoloration or colour of the skin changing into yellow or red indicates skin cancer. Sores that don’t heal or moles and freckles that change colours are the signs of skin cancer.

Cough or hoarseness in voice

It could be a sign of lung, larynx or thyroid cancer. A cough that lasts longer is a serious issue to be addressed medically at the earliest.


Stomach, esophageal, or throat cancer often shows this symptom. Indigestion or trouble swallowing indicates these cancers.

Changes inside the mouth

Development of white patches inside the mouth or tongue can indicate oral cancer. Bleeding or numbness in the mouth need to be treated immediately.

Unusual bleeding

This sign is associated with various kinds of cancers. Lung cancer patient often cough a little amount of blood while people with cancers of colon or rectal experience bloody stool. Cervical or endometrial cancer develops abnormal vaginal bleeding while in cancers of kidney or bladder, blood in the urine can be seen. Bloody discharge from the nipples is a late sign of breast cancer.