Know Cancer

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  • Signs of Cancer

    What are the signs of cancer?

    The phrase “cancer signs” describes the effects of cancer that a patient cannot detect on their own. Physicians and researchers are able to identify cancer signs through physical examinations, laboratory analysis, or imaging tests (i.e. ultrasound, MRI, tomography, CT scan, x-ray). Many cancers are asymptomatic, meaning that they produce no symptoms. Asymptomatic cancers are usually discovered during unrelated exams.

    Cancer symptoms”, conversely, describes the effects of cancer that a patient is able to observe. For example, blood in the stool is a symptom of cancer, not a sign, because it is easily distinguished from a normal bowel movement.

    Despite this proper distinction, the words “signs” and “symptoms” are often used interchangeably. Even in credible medical literature, these words are used synonymously.

    Common Cancer Signs

    None of cancer’s primary indicators, or signs, are exclusive to cancer. Each of the cancer signs listed below can also indicate other disorders, some of which are completely harmless. Nevertheless, any cancer sign warrants in-depth medical evaluation.

    • Abnormal Hormone Levels: Extremely high or extremely low levels of certain hormones may indicate the presence of cancer. In some cases, hormonal abnormalities may influence a person’s behavior, resulting in a distinguishable “symptom”. In other cases, it can be very difficult to observe a change in hormone production. This underlines the importance of undergoing appropriate cancer screenings. Ovarian, prostate, and testicular cancers typically accompany abnormal hormone production.
    • A Tissue Mass: Some tissue masses (tumors) located in or around the body’s internal organs may present no symptoms. This is especially common with small, non-aggressive tumors. These tumors are usually detected during an unrelated imaging test, such as an ultrasound or a colonoscopy.
    • Hereditary Disorders: Certain genetic anomalies may increase a person’s cancer risk. In most cases, people who are genetically predisposed to cancer will undergo appropriate cancer screenings in order to ensure early detection in the event of cancer development.

    Common Cancer Symptoms

    Most cancer indicators labeled as “signs” are more properly identified as Cancer Symptoms. Proper phraseology aside, it is important to know the common indicators of cancer. The American Cancer Society has identified 5 general cancer signs / symptoms:

    • Unexplained Weight Loss: Weight loss of 10 lbs or more, when you’re not trying to lose weight, warrants immediate medical attention. Cancers of the pancreas, stomach, esophagus, and lung frequently cause weight loss.
    • Fever: Most cancer patients will experience fever at some point. Cancer frequently impairs the body’s ability to fight infection, especially when the cancer affects the blood (leukemia or lymphoma). As a result, incessant fevers and other cold / flu symptoms warrant in-depth medical evaluation.
    • Fatigue: Fatigue (extreme tiredness) that does not relent after rest may indicate cancer. Fatigue is frequently the aftereffect of blood loss or anemia, both of which are common cancer symptoms.
    • Pain: Pain is usually observed after a tumor has already metastasized (spread) throughout the body. A headache that will not go away, on the other hand, may be an early sign of a brain tumor. Back pain, similarly, may be an early indicator of colon, rectum, kidney, or ovarian cancer.
    • Skin Anomalies: Many forms of cancer, not just skin cancer, may cause the skin to undergo a series of changes. The following skin anomalies warrant immediate medical attention:
      • Jaundice: A yellowing of the skin.
      • Hyperpigmentation: A darkening of the skin.
      • Erythema: A reddening of the skin.
      • Excessive Hair Growth
      • Itching or Severe Irritation

    The Importance of Cancer Tests, Education, and Healthy Living

    Cancer Tests

    Many early-stage cancers, and even some advanced cancers, present no identifiable symptoms. As a result, it is extremely important to undergo regular cancer screenings. Rates of survival and curability drastically increase when cancer is detected early. In many cases, cancers that present symptoms are already advanced.

    a complete breakdown of Cancer Tests


    There is more information at our fingertips than ever before. You are reading this sentence on a computer that is connected to the internet. So get connected! There is no excuse to “not know”. Learn all you can about cancer symptoms, risk factors, research, treatments, and more. We are all touched by cancer, and we should all be aware of how this terrible disease affects humankind.

    …open the door to Cancer Education


    Thanks to modern medicine, early detection and survival rates are improving by the day. But no matter how precise our technologies and treatments become, the best way to prevent cancer is to live a healthy lifestyle. Exercise regularly, laugh, relax once in a while, and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

    …learn more about Healthy Living