Cancer – Its Forms and Symptoms
The medical world today has identified about a hundred various forms of cancer. The causes
of these cancers are varied; they originate in the various tissues of the body and develop
in different ways. The common element in these various forms of cancer is that normal cells
in the body grow wild and lose control over their growth and development. The following are
the common symptoms of cancer.
- Persistent fatigue: A cancer patient generally experiences persistent fatigue which is
caused by anemia, in the later advanced stages of cancer. But in the case of some cancers
it can be felt even in the early stages. It is however a symptom of both malignant as also
non malignant conditions.
- Unintentional weight loss: When one begins to lose weight without trying, it is time
to visit the doctor. Although unintentional weight loss can be a symptom of other diseases,
it also indicates cancer.
- Pain: Generally pain as a symptom of cancer is seen only in the more advanced stages
of this disease the only exception being bone cancer. Pain is felt when the cancer spreads and
affects the other organs and also the nerves in the body.
- Fever: Fever is a very non specific symptom as it can imply any other infection as well.
When a patient suffers from cancer the fever he or she experiences is either a persistent fever
or one in which the temperature frequently rises and falls. Generally fever is associated with
- Bowel changes: Changes in bowel movement like constipation, thinner stools, diarrhea,
or traces of blood in the stools are indications of colon cancer. Such changes are also evident
in other forms of cancer as well.
- Chronic cough: Coughs that do not get better, or become worse are symptoms of lung cancer.
Sometimes blood and mucus also accompany the cough.
If a person suffers from any one or two of these general symptoms of cancer, it is better to see
the doctor at the earliest opportunity.
There are various forms of cancer and it is the second largest cause of death in the US. The most
common forms of cancer have been found to afflict the skin, breast, lungs and the prostate gland
while cancer of the white blood cells is referred to as Leukemia. Breast cancer is most frequently
diagnosed among women while among men prostate cancer is most common. The major risk factors for both
these forms of cancer are age, family history and age. In the case of prostate cancer ethnicity also
plays a great role in determining the risk factor.
Colon and rectal cancer is generally detected in patients above the age of fifty. Leukemia, with
symptoms of fatigue weight loss and repeated infections are generally diagnosed among smokers and
those who are exposed to chemicals and ionizing radiation. Leukemia can also be a side effect of cancer
treatment. Smokers and those exposed to passive smoking, air pollution and asbestos can be victims of
Many cancers are influenced by lifestyle as well and bringing about lifestyle changes like losing weight,
quitting smoking, limiting alcohol intake and consuming more of fruits and vegetables rather than meat,
will ensure that a person can minimize the risk of cancer.