7 Common Cancer Symptoms ,Signs & Types You Should Know

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By Dr. Sandeep Benkal

Dr. Sandeep Benkal boasts a comprehensive fifteen-year background as an Ayurvedic doctor, with a particular specialization in skin conditions, arthritis, PCOS, and diabetes management.

BAMS, DND| 15+ Years of Experience

7 Common Cancer Symptoms ,Signs & Types You Should Know

Understanding the Symptoms, Types, and Signs of Cancer.

According to Word Health Organization (WHO), “In 2022, there were an estimated 20 million new cancer cases and 9.7 million deaths. The estimated number of people who were alive within 5 years following a cancer diagnosis was 53.5 million. About 1 in 5 people develop cancer in their lifetime, approximately 1 in 9 men and 1 in 12 women die from the disease.”

Cancer – An Overview:

Cancer is a large group of diseases that can start in almost any organ or tissue of the body when abnormal cells grow uncontrollably, go beyond their usual boundaries to invade adjoining parts of the body and spread to other organs.

It is noted that some types of cancer cause rapid cell growth, while others cause cells to grow and divide at a slower rate. Certain types of cancer result in visible growths called tumours, while a few like leukaemia, do not have any visible tumour. Cancerous cells can form tumours, impair the immune system and cause other changes that prevent the body from functioning regularly.

Each type of cancer has unique symptoms, risk factors, and treatments. Understanding the common signs, types, and symptoms can aid in early detection and treatment.

Common types of Cancer:

  • Bladder Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Colon and Rectal Cancer
  • Endometrial Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Liver
  • Lung Cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Thyroid Cancer

 There are several types of cancer, classified based on the type of cell they originate from. Here are some of the most common types:

Carcinomas: The most common type, arising from the cells that cover internal and external surfaces of the body. These include breast, lung, prostate, and colorectal cancer.

Sarcomas: Cancers that originate in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissues.

Leukaemia: Cancers of the blood or bone marrow, characterized by the rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells.

Lymphomas: Cancers that begin in the lymphatic system, the network of vessels and glands that help fight infection. Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma are the main types.

Melanomas: Cancers that develop from the pigment-producing melanocytes in the skin.

Central Nervous System Cancers: Cancers that begin in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord.

Common Symptoms of Cancer:

Cancer symptoms can vary widely depending on the type, location, and stage of the disease. Here are some general symptoms to be aware of:

Sudden Weight Loss: Sudden, unexplained weight loss could be a sign of cancer, especially cancers of the pancreas, stomach, oesophagus, or lungs.

Lumps or Swelling: Any new lump or swelling, particularly in the breast, testicles, or lymph nodes, should be checked by a healthcare professional.

Chronic Pain: Chronic pain in bones, muscles, or other areas may indicate cancer, particularly in later stages.

Persistent Cough or Hoarseness: A persistent cough or a change in voice can be symptoms of lung or throat cancer.

Changes in Bowel Movements: Prolonged constipation, diarrhoea, or changes in stool size can signal colorectal cancer. Blood in urine may indicate bladder or kidney cancer.

Skin Changes: Changes such as darkening, yellowing, or reddening of the skin, as well as sores that do not heal, can be signs of skin cancer.

Fatigue: Persistent fatigue that doesn’t improve with rest can be an early sign of cancer like leukaemia.

Unusual Bleeding or Discharge: Suspicious bleeding from any part of the body, such as blood in the stool or urine, vaginal bleeding outside of normal periods, or nipple discharge, can be a warning sign of various cancers.

Importance of Early Detection of Cancer:

Early detection of cancer significantly improves the chances of successful treatment. Here are some tips to recognize the signs:

Self-Examination: It is important to perform regular self-exams for breast and testicular cancer by feeling for any abnormal growth or lumps. It is important to know your body and take precautionary steps by seeking medical intervention. 

Health Screening: Follow guidelines for screenings like mammograms, Pap smears, colonoscopies, and skin checks to check, prevent and treat any forms of cancer.

Family History: Be aware of your family’s medical history. Some cancers are hereditary, and knowing your risk can prompt earlier and more frequent screenings.

Lifestyle Choices: Maintain a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption to reduce your risk of cancer.

Understanding the symptoms and signs of cancer, as well as the different types, is crucial in the treatment of this deadly disease. If you or any of your family members or friends experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention through proper consultation with an oncologist for further evaluation, examination, prevention and proper treatment.