Diagnosing cancer is quite tricky because the disease doesn’t have distinct symptoms like others.
Cancer has very universal symptoms that could be easily mistaken for other common illnesses.
For example, headaches are a common symptom of diseases like Malaria. But if the headaches are severe and persistent, then chances are that you could be having a brain tumour.
Cancer cells slowly spread across the body and such signs are an indication that the cells are depleting all the necessary nutrients in the body, leaving one weak and tired. Most breast cancer victims have reported headaches as the most experienced symptom. Often, this is an indicator that the cancer cells have spread to the brain.
The most common cancer symptom, that’s universal across the board is fatigue.
The spreading of cancer cells often leaves your body tired. Your body fails to replenish itself because nutrients have been broken down and used in the growth and spread of cancer around your body.
Here are some indicators of fatigue;
- Negative feelings towards yourself and other people
- Lack of motivation to clear up your tasks
- You often lose breath after doing minor stuff like climbing up the stairs
- Lost interest in doing the things you enjoy like swimming or dancing
- Feeling anxious, depressed and stressed most of the time
- Spending a lot of time in bed, being extremely unproductive
- Low attention spans at work when spending time with family and friends
- You have trouble sleeping
- Muscle pains
The severity of these symptoms is predominant in the morning.
Most blood cancer patients are likely to experience fatigue because the bone marrow is greatly affected and it’s examined to tell the severity of cancer.
Nausea is quite common in patients that suffer from gastrointestinal, liver and brain tumours.
According to research, at least seven out of ten cancer patients have nausea and vomiting symptoms. While Nausea is also a common symptom for most illnesses, its intensity builds up in the morning for cancer patients.
Breast cancer patients have also reported vomiting and nausea as common occurrences in the morning hours.
Feeling sick is a common cancer symptom, especially for patients that are on treatment.
Most patients are likely to experience bowel blockage and the general feeling of being sick while on treatment or after.
Cancer treatments like; radiotherapy and chemotherapy often have side effects that make patients feel sickly. Some patients can have ‘burns’ or dark black patches on their skin, resulting from these procedures.
The location of cancer and its growth are also contributors to the feeling of sickness.
Other cancer signs that may occur during the day include;
- Difficulty in breathing
- Bowel habits may change
- Unusual bleeding
- Lumps on the skin or where the cancer is located
- Mole changes
- Unexplained weight loss
- Tummy, general body pain or back pain
- Indigestion and heartburn
- Itchy or yellow-ish skin
- Bloating especially if it’s been going on for more than three weeks
- Unexplained bleeding. Any signs of blood in your vomit, urine, poo, in between your periods and in your cough should put you on high alert
It is important to look out for these signs and get tested if you are experiencing any. Early diagnosis is vital in fighting cancer. It is also important to note that these symptoms are universal, therefore, not all of them could indicate the possible growth of cancer.
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