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Basic Signs and Symptoms of Cancer

There are many different types of cancer that can all present with their own unique set of symptoms. Even so, there are some common signs that cut across a multitude of cancer types that can help tip off patients and their doctors to the presence of this disease.

Here are just a few of the more common signs of cancer:

• Unexplained weight loss – While this can be caused by a number of different conditions, it’s not at all uncommon for weight loss to be among the very first signs of cancer. If 10 pounds or more is lost rather quickly and there’s no reason for it, it’s a good idea to get checked out by a doctor. This type of weight loss can be a sign of pancreatic, stomach, lung, and esophagus cancer, among others.

• Fevers – Unexplained fevers can indicate cancer, especially if they are persistent. Fever generally presents if cancer has spread beyond its origin point.

• Fatigue – This is a very common symptom among many types of cancer. Fatigue is a tiredness that does not go away after rest. It is common in such forms of cancer as stomach, colon, and leukemia. Keep in mind that fatigue can also go along with a number of other conditions that are quite benign.

• Skin changes – Any significant changes in the appearance of the skin should be checked out by a doctor. Signs such as darkening of skin, yellowing of skin, reddening, itching, and even excessive hair growth can all be early signs of cancer. Unusual moles should also be checked out.

• Unexplained lumps – Lumps and other unexplained growths bear getting checked out by a physician right away. Quite often these are very harmless growths, but it’s always best to err on the side of caution.

Cancer presents in many different forms, each of which have their own symptoms. The best defense against this disease is a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, a proper diet, and plenty of hydration. Even so, going in for routine screenings for cancers such as colon, prostate, and breast can prove critical even for those who have very low risk factors. Check with your physician if you have any concerns about the potential for cancer development or the presentation of unexplained symptoms.

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