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15 Cancer Symptoms you Shouldn’t Ignore

Written by Shilaho Muteshi

Author Shilaho Wa Muteshi is a reproductive health consultant and public health lecturer based in the city of Nairobi, Kenya. The author has more than 15 years of public health training design and delivery as well as curriculum development. He has published several medical thrillers, including The Aids Ward, The Coffin Factory, and The Cancer Section. Other books are Remains of Dead Hope, The Secret Reign of Pope Christine, and The Black Man's Testament. The books are available worldwide via and other major booksellers and stockists.

6 August 2020

Cancer refers to the abnormal and uncontrolled division of cells that ultimately destroy the neighboring tissues and spread to other parts of the body. Common symptoms include the presence of lumps, abnormal bleeding, unexplained weight loss and prolonged coughing, depending on the type of cancer and its location. This article details fifteen early cancer symptoms that shouldn’t be ignored.

  1. Unexplained weight loss – Losing weight without any conscious reason should scare you; it could mean you are developing colon or intestinal cancer.
  2. Jaundice – The yellow coloration of the skin and the mucus membranes is one symptom of pancreatic or liver cancer that shouldn’t be ignored.
  3. Swollen face – Unexplained swelling of the facial features could possibly indicate lung cancer and should be thoroughly investigated.
  4. Chronic chest pain – Prolonged chest pain, accompanied by coughing could mean you have lung cancer.
  5. Chronic fatigue – While fatigue may mean you have been overworking or something, watch out for prolonged tiredness that isn’t in a hurry to go away.
  6. Chronic heart burn – That persistent heart burn could mean much more than too much acid secreting foods, it could be an indicator of cancer of the esophagus.
  7. Nail changes – Do you ever regularly look at your nails? Brown or black streaks on your finger nails could indicate skin cancer while curving may mean lung cancer.
  8. Erectile dysfunction – Your dog failing to bark when required to may mean you have developed prostate cancer.
  9. Bloody urine or semen – This is a common symptom among men suffering from prostate cancer and should not be ignored.
  10. Bloody nipple discharge – This is a common symptom for breast cancer, particularly if breast self-examination also reveals the presence of a lump.
  11. Shortness of breath – That unexplained wheezing and shortness of breath may mean much more than asthma or bronchitis, it could be cancer of the thyroid.
  12. Chronic fever – Beware of a fever that isn’t in a hurry to go away, it could be an indicator of leukemia, a cancer of the blood.
  13. Blood in the stool – While there are so many possible causes of bloody stool, colorectal cancer is one possible cause that shouldn’t be ruled out.
  14. Stomach upsets – Unexplained stomach upsets and a constant feeling of fullness could be caused by colorectal cancer.
  15. Stomach bloating – Prolonged stomach fullness that fails to disappear completely despite changes in your diet could indicate ovarian cancer.

Related book: The Cancer Section, available on Amazon.

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