Cancer symptoms: Top 14 early signs to look out for
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As with any disease or medical condition, the earlier you spot the symptoms of cancer the better chance you have of treating it. Cancer Research UK explains: “Sometimes symptoms are linked to certain cancer types. But signs can also be more general, including weight loss, tiredness (fatigue) or unexplained pain.
“These symptoms are more often a sign of something far less serious – but if it is cancer, spotting it early can make a real difference.”
One symptom is having “very heavy” night sweats.
The charity says: “Sweating at night can be caused by infections or it can be a side effect of certain medications.
“It’s also often experienced by women around the time of the menopause.
“But very heavy, drenching night sweats can also be a sign of cancer.”
It urges people to see a doctor if they think something is wrong.
“Remember, anyone can develop cancer, but it’s more common as we get older,” the charity says.
“Most cases are in people aged 50 or over.
“Whatever your age, it’s always best to listen to your body and talk to your doctor if something doesn’t feel quite right.
“Whether it’s a change that’s new, unusual, or something that won’t go away – get it checked out.”
There are a number of other “general” cancer symptoms listed by Cancer Research UK that are worth keeping an eye out for.
Unexplained pain or ache – Pain is one way our bodies tell us that something is wrong.
As we get older, it‘s more common to experience aches and pains. But unexplained pain could be a sign of something more serious.
Unexplained weight loss – Small weight changes over time are quite normal, but if you lose a noticeable amount of weight without trying to, tell your doctor.
Unusual lump or swelling anywhere – Persistent lumps or swelling in any part of your body should be taken seriously.
That includes any lumps in the neck, armpit, stomach, groin, chest, breast or testicle.
Fatigue – There are lots of reasons you may feel more tired than usual, particularly if you’re going through a stressful event, or having trouble sleeping.
But if you’re feeling tired for no clear reason, it could be a sign that something is wrong – speak to your doctor.
If you have cancer you could also experience:
Changes to your skin
Symptoms that affect eating
Symptoms that affect your voice and breathing
Changes in your poo or pee
Unexplained bleeding or blood
A mouth ulcer or patch that won’t heal
Unusual breast changes.
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