Cancer is a disease that results when abnormal cells in the body grow and multiply out of control. Cancer can occur in cells, organs, or tissues anywhere in the body.
Cancer is named for the part of the body where it originated. For example, cancer that starts in the lungs is called lung cancer. Even if lung cancer spreads into another part of the body such as the stomach, it is still called lung cancer.
Symptoms of cancer are feelings or changes in the body that you may experience if you have cancer, such as pain or a cough.
Signs of cancer are changes in your body that may be noticed by someone else, such as a fever, a lump in your breast, or abnormal sounds in your lungs that your doctor can hear through a stethoscope.
Both signs and symptoms are warnings that something is not right. Because cancer can happen anywhere in your body, there is no definitive list of all possible signs or symptoms. Ovarian cancer will produce different symptoms from brain cancer. In addition, signs and symptoms that could show that you have cancer might also mean that you have another illness. Only your healthcare provider can determine whether a symptom is caused by cancer or by something else.
These are some common cancer symptoms and signs you should watch out for:
• Weight changes – People with cancer may lose weight without trying to diet. This kind of weight loss for no known reason is called unexplained weight loss. Some types of cancer can also cause unexplained weight gain.
• Fever – People with cancer that has spread to another part of the body are more likely to have a fever than people with early stage cancer.
• Fatigue – Feeling tired even after a good night’s sleep may be a symptom of cancer. This is more likely to be a symptom as cancer grows, but may be experienced early in cancer development for cancer like leukemia or in cancers that cause blood loss such as colon cancer.
• Pain – Some types of cancer cause noticeable pain early on, such as bone cancer.