Do I Have Cancer? Potential Signs You May Have Cancer
Are you asking, "Do I have cancer?" and you're trying to figure out what's happening? Read this article to learn signs you may have cancer.
In 2018, around 1,735,350 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in the US. An estimated 609,640 people died from their condition.
Some people confuse signs of cancer with a cough or general exhaustion. You might not realize that a small change in your overall health might indicate a big problem.
Are you asking yourself, "Do I have cancer?"
Instead of worrying, keep reading. With this guide, you can pay attention to your symptoms. If these signs of cancer sound familiar, consider consulting a doctor right away.
Read on to learn more!
Most Common Types of Cancer
The most common type of cancer is breast cancer. In 2019, there were 271,270 new cases. Other common types of cancer include lung and prostate cancer.
Excluding non-melanoma skin cancer, the cancers that are diagnosed most often include:
- Bladder cancer
- Liver cancer
- Endometrial cancer
- Colon and rectal cancer
- Thyroid cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Lung cancer
- Breast cancer
- Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
- Kidney cancer
Are you asking yourself, "Do I have cancer?" It's important to know your symptoms could vary based on the type of cancer.
If you were just diagnosed with cancer, make sure to review the common symptoms of your condition with a doctor. Certain symptoms could also indicate your condition is getting worse.
Signs of Cancer
Cancer is one of the world's leading causes of death. It's actually a group of diseases that can cause various symptoms. The signs of cancer you experience could depend on:
- Where the cancer is
- How big the cancer is
- How much cancer affects your organs and tissues
- The type of cancer
If your cancer has spread, you might experience symptoms throughout different areas of your body. Over time, cancer can metastasize and affect nerves, blood vessels, and organs.
Cancer also uses much of your body's energy supply. As a result, you might develop a fever, lose weight, or feel exhausted. Cancer could also impact your immune system to trigger certain symptoms.
You might develop symptoms without warning. Learning how to recognize the signs of cancer can help you seek treatment as soon as possible. Early treatment could increase your chances of survival.
In some cases, however, cancer won't cause any symptoms until it's grown.
Here are a few signs to watch out for when asking yourself, "Do I have cancer?"
- Unexplained Weight Loss
Cancer causes destructive cells to attack your healthy ones. As a result, you might begin to lose weight before finding out you have cancer.
In some cases, you might notice you've lost weight before any other symptom. However, weight loss is also associated with other conditions, such as hyperthyroidism.
If you've started losing weight, you could have pancreas, lung, esophagus, or stomach cancer.
Make a note of how much weight you've lost within a specific time frame when reviewing your symptoms with a doctor.
Are you experiencing unexplained fatigue? If you're getting enough sleep each night and still feel exhausted during the day, it could indicate cancer.
Fatigue is a prominent symptom of leukemia. It's sometimes connected with blood loss from other cancers, too. For example, colon and stomach cancers can cause blood loss and fatigue as well.
If you're experiencing chronic fatigue, it could indicate your cancer has grown.
- Skin Changes
Changes to your skin usually indicate skin cancer, though not always. If you notice bumps under your skin, it could indicate a tumor has grown. For example, you might have breast cancer.
Cancer can also cause:
- Hair growth
- Jaundice to the skin or eyes
White spots in your mouth could point to oral cancer. You might also develop sores that don't heal (or ones that heal and return later).
Your body responds to illness or infections with inflammation, which can cause you to develop a fever. Many people shrug off a fever instead of thinking "I have cancer." Unfortunately, a fever could indicate your cancer has spread or progressed to an advanced stage.
Fever sometimes points to a blood cancer such as lymphoma or leukemia.
If your cancer has spread, you might experience pain symptoms. Back pain is a common sign of colon, rectum, and prostate cancer. It could also indicate cancers of the ovaries.
Do you have a headache that refuses to go away? Chronic headaches could indicate a brain tumor.
If you experience chronic pain, consider visiting alternative cancer treatment centers. You can combine traditional cancer treatments with holistic treatment options to ease your symptoms.
- Night Sweats
If you develop night sweats, you could wake up drenched in sweat. Though night sweats are associated with other conditions, they're also common in the early stages of cancer.
Night sweats could indicate you have liver cancer, leukemia, or lymphoma.
- Digestive Changes
One of the common signs of cancer is digestive changes. For example, you might experience changes in your appetite. Pain after eating and difficulty swallowing are common, too.
Difficulty swallowing is sometimes associated with esophageal cancer. It could also indicate a head or neck cancer.
Cancers of the gastrointestinal tract can also cause digestive issues. If you have ovarian cancer, you might feel constantly full or experience bloating.
Cancer could also cause indigestion, loading, vomiting, and nausea.
- Blood Loss
Some cancers could cause you to bleed unexpectedly. For example, rectal or colon cancer could cause your stool to appear bloody. If you notice blood in your urine, you might have bladder or prostate cancer.
Blood loss could also indicate stomach cancer. Internal bleeding is usually more difficult to detect.
If you experience blood loss, let your doctor know right away.
Many people shrug off a persistent cough, thinking it's the flu, allergies, or a cold. You might develop a persistent cough before finding out you have cancer, though.
If your cough persists, it could cause hoarseness. You might cough up blood as cancer spreads. This symptom is usually connected to thyroid cancer.
Do I Have Cancer?: Keep An Eye Out for the Warning Signs
Instead of asking yourself, "Do I have cancer?" keep an eye out for these warning signs. Let your doctor know if you experience these signs of cancer right away. They can use testing to diagnose the cause of your symptoms.
Whether it's cancer or not, they'll ensure you receive the treatment you need.
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