Cancer Symptoms

Generalized cancer symptoms are difficult to assign. Cancer can affect any region or tissue of the body and each specific cancer behaves and presents itself differently, even amongst individuals with the same cancer.

For example, a cancer of the blood (leukemias, lymphomas) will exhibit different symptoms than an advanced cancer tumor symptom (i.e. from stomach, esophageal, brain, uterine, bladder, liver).

Beginning as a small mass of cells which may produce no symptoms at all, cancers may grow to very large sizes, undetected, depending on their type and location in the body.

Generally once a cancer grows to a size large enough to affect surrounding blood vessels, nerves, or encroach on other organ systems or tissues, does it become symptomatic.

Some of the most common cancers in the western hemisphere over the past 20 years have been breast, colon, lung, cervical, ovarian, and prostate.

The resulting early symptom may be pain or discomfort, which is typically the first symptom many people would experience.

Other common early symptoms are bleeding, weight loss, depression, and/or fatigue.

Certainly, early detection and treatment of cancers are critical. Unfortunately, it is often only when a cancer symptom presents itself that individuals learn they have cancer and seek treatment.

Perhaps of even greater importance is to reduce personal risk factors which are known to increase the likelihood of developing cancer.

Some less common cancers are testicular, bone, pancreatic, thyroid, skin, throat, and mesothelioma cancers.

Different cancer types are covered below where more specific symptoms can be addressed.