The signs and symptoms of tumors vary greatly in each individual case. Many tumors do not show any signs or symptoms.
Others are clearly formed lumps that a person can easily feel and make an initial guess at their diagnosis. The majority of tumors are discovered because of the symptoms that they cause due to the damage they are doing to another system in the body.
A “sign” is something that another person (such as a doctor or nurse) can see or feel. Signs include things like lumps and fevers. A “symptom” is something that can only be felt by the patient, but isn’t always visible. Symptoms include things like fatigue and achiness.
General Signs and Symptoms
Many of the signs and symptoms of tumors are also signs of things that are harmless, so it is important to see your doctor if you are concerned. General symptoms of a tumor can include chills and fever, feeling fatigued, unexplained weight loss, or an overall feeling of malaise.
Changes in bowel habits or indigestion and swallowing might also indicate that there is a problem. Unusual bleeding or discharge, sores that do not heal as they should, or a persistent cough, might also be signs of a tumor. The sections below will outline signs and symptoms specific to certain types of tumors.
Lung Tumor Signs and Symptoms
Patients who develop lung tumors often experience difficulty breathing. As the tumor grows it can obstruct a person’s airways. It might also cause wheezing and coughing, sometimes with blood. If the cancer from a lung tumor spreads so much that it presses on surrounding nerves it can begin to affect the esophagus and vocal cords.
Brain Tumor Signs and Symptoms
Brain tumors often cause headaches. People with a brain tumor might experience an increase in the number of headaches they get, or in the severity of those headaches. Brain tumors can also affect a person’s vision or hearing. Blurry vision or double vision, and problems with balance, are sometimes experienced as the result of a tumor. Other patients might even find differences in their personality, memory or behavior.
Colorectal Tumor Signs and Symptoms
Colorectal tumor signs and symptoms often involve changes in bowel habits. Their symptoms can be confused for other ailments such as irritable bowel syndrome, Chrohn’s disease and diverticulosis. Patients suffering from colorectal tumors often experience abdominal pain, bloating and sometimes an obstruction of their bowels.
Regardless of what your symptoms are, if you believe you have a tumor it is best to talk to your doctor. Only with imaging tests and a biopsy will they be able to accurately diagnose you.