Warning signs are those signs and symptoms that are easily detected and may be associated with cancer. It is of the utmost importance not to neglect potential symptoms.
These signs and symptoms are not cancer-specific, but if they occur you should see your doctor.
Some types of tumour have abnormal bleeding as their first symptom, for instance blood in stools or urine, blood in vomit, continual and abnormal bleeding from nose or ears, or a wound that does not heal. There may be many other causes for the occurrence of bleeding, but if you have one of these symptoms you should see a doctor.
A swollen organ or area of the body may also be due to a tumour.
If you feel a lump in your testicles, neck, thyroid, armpits or groin, consult your doctor for a complete examination (including specific factors like your age, affected organ or site, etc.).
Moles changing in shape, colour or size
Most skin tumours are detected by patients.
In more than half of the cases, skin tumours are expansive, superficial melanomas generally originating from moles. Also in the case of melanoma, the sooner the treatment the more likely a successful outcome.
See your doctor if you have a mole exceeding 5 mm, with irregular edges or borders and more than one colour, or if you notice a mole changing in shape, size or colour.
Constant cough or hoarseness
The symptoms of laryngeal, pharingeal and oral cavity tumours are not very specific and may be mistaken for other common signs.
See your doctor if you have an unexplained loss of voice, or if you see/feel a swelling or a sore that does not heal in your mouth or on your lips, or if you find it difficult to breathe through one nostril.
Change in bowel or urinary habits
The presenting symptoms of bowel and bladder tumours are also seen in other common conditions or disorders.
A number of different factors may cause a change in bowel habits, as well as the constant urge to urinate or a burning sensation during urination.
In the presence of these symptoms you should see your doctor for a complete examination and correct diagnosis.
If you lose weight without changing your dietary habits and the amount of daily exercise, consult a doctor. Weight loss is not necessarily associated with cancer, but is a symptom that should not be underestimated.
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