Cancer can affect any organ of our body and the symptoms accordingly depend upon the organ system affected. The most common cancers in women are the breast cancer in urban areas and cancer of the cervix in rural areas. Amongst males it is the aerodigestive tract which tops the list.

Symptoms common to most cancers:

  1. Unexplained weight loss
  2. Malaise/ feeling of weakness
  3. Anemia/ pallor

Symptoms of Breast Cancer:

  1. Lump in breast and/or in the axillary area.
  2. Changes in breast contour.
  3. Changes in nipple area.
  4. Changes/ dimpling of skin over breasts.
  5. Discharge especially if bloody and one sided.

Symptoms of Cancer of cervix:

  1. Discharge especially if bloody, per vaginum
  2. Irregular bleeding/spotting
  3. Heaviness/ pain lower abdomen

Symptoms of aerodigestive tract cancer

  1. Non healing ulcer in mouth
  2. Hoarseness / change in voice
  3. Whitish marks in mouth
  4. Difficulty in swallowing
  5. Breathlessness
  6. Cough with expectoration
  7. Pneumonia not responding to treatment
  8. Black stools
  9. Lump in abdomen

Also remember

  1. Your jaundice maybe related to a cancer
  2. Your piles maybe something more…get a endoscopy and if required a biopsy done.
  3. Do not neglect any bleeding from any site.
  4. A fracture maybe related to a cancer.
  5. Do not neglect any fresh changes in lumps under your skin or in moles on the skin.

There is no need to panic, but there is a need to be aware! Seek guidance when you feel you need it.