Cancer Symptoms and Effects


Cancer can cause devastating effects in your life. The disease is multi-symptomatic, causing development of a variety symptoms, ranging from insignificant to life-threatening symptoms . It’s effects can be multiple and vary from one patient to another. In fact, the majority of cancers are completely asymptomatic at early stage. They cause no significant warning signs. When finally emerge, symptoms are not typical to the disease. At the genesis, the effects of cancer tend to be minor and common to many other diseases. Only specific diagnostic procedures may lead to the detection of the tumor. In general, the characteristics of cancer symptoms depend on the organ affected, its stage as well the nature of the patient.

For instance, lung cancer may lead to the development of:

  • shortness of breath
  • difficulty swallowing
  • alteration of general condition
  • chest pain and cough
  • loss of appetite and weight loss
  • spitting blood
  • Swollen lymph nodes in neck or at the level of the clavicles.

In the majority of women, breast cancer usually manifests by:

  • depression, anxiety, or fear (can be caused by all cancers)
  • presence of a lump in the breast
  • palpable swollen lymph nodes in the armpits
  • Physiological and functional changes in the breast: nipple discharge, presence of red patch on the breast, abnormal skin peeling, breast pain, etc.

Colon cancer can go undetected for a long period. However, left untreated, the cancer can spread into the liver, lymph nodes and other parts of the body, leading to the development of:

  • New onset of abdominal pain
  • Disorder or change in bowel movement
  • An alteration of general condition
  • An abdominal tumor or liver metastasis
  • Bowel obstruction or intestinal perforation (complication).

Unlike many other cancers, prostate cancer has a slow growth, and may take years before producing symptoms. In fact, some men die with prostate cancer without being aware of it.  When symptoms finally occur, they may include:

  • Frequent urination
  • Difficulty in retaining and/or starting urine
  • Low or discontinuous urine output
  • Pain or burning sensation on urination
  • Blood in the urine
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Dull pain in lower back, the hips or upper thighs…

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