The 12 most common symptoms of cancer that you may not know!

Yesterday, the world celebrated World Cancer Day, February 4, with the aim of raising awareness and improving education about cancer and its symptoms.

There are more than 200 different types of cancer, and each type has different symptoms.

However, there are some general symptoms that can occur with most types of cancer.

It's impossible to know all the signs and symptoms of each type of cancer overnight, but understanding the general signs can save a life.

Express reveals the 12 most common symptoms of cancer, according to Cancer Research UK:

Unexplained pain or soreness

Pain is one of the ways our bodies tell us that something is wrong.

And as we get older, it's more common to feel aches and pains.

However, unexplained pain could be a sign of something more serious, such as severe night sweats.

Sweating at night can be caused by infections, or it can be a side effect of some medications.

Women often experience it around the time of menopause, but very profuse night sweats can also be a sign of cancer.

Unexplained weight loss

Small changes in weight over time are completely normal, but if you lose a noticeable amount of weight without trying, tell your doctor.

An unusual lump or swelling anywhere

Persistent lumps or swelling in any part of your body should be taken seriously.

This includes any lumps in the neck, armpit, stomach, groin, chest, breast or testicle.


There are many reasons why you may feel more tired than usual, especially if you are going through a stressful event or have trouble sleeping.

But if you're feeling tired for no apparent reason, it could be a sign that something is wrong - talk to your doctor.

Skin changes

The skin repairs itself very quickly and any damage usually heals within a week or so.

When a spot, wart, or sore does not heal, even if it is painless, a doctor needs to examine it.

Also, most moles are harmless.

But be aware of any new or existing moles that change in size, shape or color, become crusty, ache or bleed.

Your doctor should check for any unusual change in a patch of skin or nail, whether it's a new change or it's been there for a while.

Voice and breathing are affected

Having a hoarse voice or feeling gritty can be common with colds.

But the annoying sound that has not gone away on its own should be checked.

A cough is common with colds and some other health conditions, but if an unexplained cough does not go away within a few weeks or gets worse, it could be a sign of cancer.

It's not unusual for you to feel short of breath now and then (especially when you are active), but if you notice that you feel short of breath more than usual or a lot of the time, tell your doctor.

Eating problems

Any symptoms you experience that affect your eating could be cancerous.

Certain medical conditions, including some types of cancer, may make swallowing difficult.

Talk to your doctor if you're having trouble swallowing and the problem doesn't go away.

It is normal to feel discomfort or slight pain sometimes after eating a large, fatty or hot meal.

But if you have heartburn, (acid reflux) or indigestion a lot, or if it's particularly painful, see your doctor.

Loss of appetite is another sign of cancer.

Talk to your doctor if you notice that you are not as hungry as usual and the condition has not improved.

Changes in stool or urine

A change in bowel habits, such as constipation, loose stools, or bowel movements more or less frequently, is often due to diet or lifestyle changes.

However, if you have problems urinating, if there is blood in your urine or stool, or you cannot understand why you are experiencing changes, see your doctor. 

These symptoms can all be caused by conditions other than cancer, but it's best to get them checked out.

Unexplained bleeding or bleeding

The cause of unexplained bleeding is often much less serious than cancer, but you should always report this to your doctor to get to the heart of the problem.

This includes blood in the stool or urine and vomiting or coughing up blood - regardless of the amount or color of the blood (it can be red or a darker color such as brown or black).

It also includes any unexplained vaginal bleeding between menstrual periods, after intercourse or after menopause.

A mouth ulcer that does not heal

It's common to have sores (small sores) in your mouth - they usually get better within about two weeks.

A sore or a red or white spot that does not heal after three weeks should be reported to your doctor or dentist.

- Continuous murmur

It is very common to feel flatulence that comes and goes from time to time.

However, if you feel bloated most days (even if it comes and goes), talk to your doctor because this could be a symptom of cancer.

Unusual changes in the breast 

Look for changes in the size, shape, or texture of the breast, or any skin changes, redness, or tenderness in the breast. 

Breast cancer is more common in women, but no matter your gender, it's important to tell your doctor about any unusual changes in your breasts.

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