Symptoms Of Cancer

Warning signs

By Brandie Umar, Executive Director of ContentLast modified: October 10, 2011

Symptoms Of Cancer

Cancer can attack any part of the body and the symptoms will vary. Cancer may be symptom-less for some patients and others may experience all symptoms of cancer. If you experience any of the symptoms listed below, or feel unwell and have a family history of cancer, contacting a cancer specialist immediately will ensure you receive the most effective treatment.


The body is constantly changing and lumps appear all the time. Most lumps are benign and are caused by infection not a cancerous tumor. Lumps that do not disappear within 3-4 weeks, are painful or are accompanied by any other symptoms should be examined by a specialist to ensure they are not a sign of cancer. Lumps in the breast and testicle are often the first sign of breast or testicular cancer.

Altered moles or warts

Moles that change color, shape or appear to be 'bleeding' at the edges should immediately be checked. Skin cancer is often diagnosed through mole removal.

A change in bowel habits

Bowel habits change according to diet, lifestyle and stress but a noticeable change in bowel habits should be checked by a doctor. Severe constipation or diarrhea that lasts more than a couple of days should be evaluated. Blood in a bowel movement should immediately be checked.

A change in urination

There may be many reasons for a change in urinary habits, but it is always best to check any change to the amount or the frequency of urination. Blood in the urine should be checked immediately.


Extreme fatigue not as a result of an identifiable problem should be examined as this can be a symptom of many types of cancers.

Weight loss

The cause of sudden or extreme weight loss should be examined by a specialist to ensure it is a symptom of cancer.

Persistent coughing

A cough that is extremely painful, hoarser than usual or will not disappear should be heard by a doctor to ensure it is not the first sign of lung cancer.

There are many other symptoms of cancer, from pain in the area of a tumor to anemia and breathlessness. Anybody who feels unwell for a period of more than 10 days, with or without any of these symptoms should visit a doctor who will determine the cause of the illness.

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This article was written by the medical research team at does not intend for any of the information on this site to be regarded as medical advice - it is meant as a starting point for understanding treatment details and options before contacting a registered, licensed doctor. We advise all patients to seek medical advice from a doctor.
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