10 Most Commonly Ignored Signs Of Cancer

Signs and symptoms of cancer are dependent on the location of cancer, its size and how much it is affecting the organs and tissues. Here are some of the most commonly ignored signs and symptoms of cancer.



  1. Coughing blood can be a sign of lung cancer
  2. Sore in mouth that doesn't go can be a sign of oral cancer
  3. Change in bowel or bladder habits can be a sign colon or rectal cancer

Cancer is a life-threatening disease which can be best treated if it is diagnosed or detected early when it is small and has not spread. Watching out for cancer symptoms might not be as easy as no particular symptom usually signals cancer. Cancer is a combination of diseases and can cause almost any sign and symptom. And no matter how difficult it is to diagnose cancer, getting cancer tests and screenings regularly can prevent the very formation of cancers like cervical cancer and colon cancer. In this article, we are going to talk about some cancer symptoms that are commonly ignored.

Commonly ignored signs of cancer

Signs and symptoms of cancer are dependent on the location of cancer, its size and how much it is affecting the organs and tissues. Signs and symptoms are likely to be experienced in different parts of the body if the cancer has spread or metastaised.

Also read: Coffee Compounds May Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk

Following are some of the most commonly ignored signs and symptoms of cancer

1. Weight loss without trying: Rapid weight loss or losing lots of weight in very less amount of time, that too without trying, could be a sign of cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, this occurs in case of stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, lung cancer or cancer of the oesophagus.

2. Fatigue: Feeling tired despite getting enough sleep and taking rest is a sign of cancer. Stomach cancer, leukaemia and colon cancer are likely to cause fatigue.

3. Sores that do not heal: If you have sores that are not healing, it may be a sign of skin cancer. A long-lasting sore in mouth can be a sign of oral cancer. Sores in the genital area can either be signs of an infection or an early sign of cancer.

Also read: Key Gene Behind Breast Cancer Identified

4. Constant cough or hoarseness: If you have been constantly coughing for weeks or months, it may be a sign of lung cancer. Hoarseness in throat can be a sign of cancer of larynx or thyroid gland.

5. Fever: Cancer can cause infections and make it difficult for the body to fight infection that causes fever. Fever can be a sign of leukaemia and lymphoma.


Cancer can make it difficult for the body to fight infections that cause fever
Photo Credit: iStock

6. Pain: Cancer of bone or testicles are likely to cause pain. Constant headaches that refuse to go despite treatment might be a sign of brain tumour.

7. Skin changes: In case you have a mole or a freckle that changes colour or grows bigger or changes its shape, it may be a sign of melanoma or other skin cancer. Other signs include yellowish dark skin, eyes, reddened skin, itching or excessive hair growth.

Also read: Cancer And Obesity: What Is The Link?

8. Changes in bowel of bladder habits: Long-term constipation, change in the size of stool and diarrhoea can all be signs of colon or rectal cancer. If you are experiencing pain while passing urine or see blood in urine, it may be a sign of bladder or prostate cancer.

9. Lumps: Breast cancer, cancer in the testicles and lymph nodes cause lumps that can be felt on the skin. Red and thickened skin (and not a lump) may also be a sign of breast cancer.

10. Unusual bleeding: Coughing blood is a sign of lung cancer. Blood in stool or dark or black stool could signal colon cancer. Abnormal vaginal bleeding can signal endometrial or cervical cancer. Blood in urine can be a sign of kidney cancer.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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