What are the signs and symptoms of cancer? With cancer stats for Singapore suggesting that 1 in 4 people may develop cancer in their lifetime, knowing the signs and symptoms to watch out for can alert us to seek medical attention quickly. Early detection and treatment will help increase the chances of successful cancer treatment.
Sign vs Symptom
What is the difference between a sign and a symptom? A sign (e.g. fever), can be observed or measured by another person. On the other hand, a symptom (e.g. pain), is felt by the person who has it.
Cancer can grow into, or push on nearby organs, blood vessels, and nerves. This pressure causes some of the signs and symptoms. A cancer may also cause symptoms like fever, fatigue, or weight loss when it uses up the body’s energy supply, or causes reactions in the person’s immune system to produce these signs and symptoms.
10 Signs and Symptoms of Cancer You Should Watch Out For
The signs and symptoms of cancer will depend on the location of the cancer, its size, and whether it has spread to other parts of the body (if so, signs or symptoms may also appear in other parts of the body). However, these are 10 general signs and symptoms to watch out for:
- Fatigue that does not recover with rest;
- Weight loss or gain for no known reason;
- Difficulty in eating (e.g. loss of appetite, nausea / vomiting);
- Lumps in the breast or on other parts of the body;
- Pain for no known reason that does not go away;
- Change in the appearance of a mole, or a sore that does not heal;
- A cough that does not recover;
- Unusual bleeding or bruising for no known reason;
- Change in bowel habits that doesn’t go away or a change in how your stools look, or bladder changes (e.g. pain when passing urine or blood in the urine);
- Sores, bleeding, pain, or numbness of the mouth.
If you observe the above signs and symptoms, even if you had cancer screening recently, it would still be advisable to see a doctor to determine the cause of the problems and have it treated.
This article is informative only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.