Main Symptoms of Cancer

Main Symptoms of Cancer

By noticing the changes in our body early, it is possible to ensure early diagnosis of possible cancer.

From time to time, we hear or witness common symptoms such as breast mass, unusual bleeding, and changes in moles on the skin, which may lead to cancer diagnosis. By noticing the changes in our body early, it is possible to ensure early diagnosis of likely cancer. So, what kind of conspicuous signs should we consider? Let's examine it together.

Unfortunately, by the time you notice common symptoms you hear or witness, the cancer is often advanced, making treatment more difficult. The fact that they are vague or similar to the symptoms of lesser health problems often causes these symptoms to be overlooked or ignored. However, careful attention makes it possible to detect cancer when it is at its most treatable stage. Here are the 7 most common early cancer symptoms you should not ignore for yourself and your loved ones.

Abdominal Swelling

Abdominal swelling or enlargement can be an early—and sometimes the only—warning sign of ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer, which ranks 7th among gynecological cancers in Turkey, is one of the cancer types with the highest risk of loss of life. 80% of ovarian cancers spread before they are diagnosed. However, if it is followed well and treated early, the disease progresses positively, as in many types of cancer.

Persistent abdominal swelling (lasting two weeks or longer) should be taken seriously. Other warning signs of ovarian cancer; can be listed as difficulty in eating or a feeling of rapid fullness or frequent urination.

Abdominal swelling may also be a symptom of colorectal cancer, which is common in both men and women in our country, with a high risk of death. Noticeable warning signs of colorectal cancer; Changes in defecation habits that last longer than a few days (diarrhea, constipation, etc.) or the feeling of defecation can be listed as the inability to relax after elimination.

Feeling of Fullness

Feeling full even after a small meal can signify ovarian, pancreatic or stomach cancer. Pancreatic cancer is the most difficult to treat and should be detected as soon as possible. Pancreatic cancer, which ranks 4th worldwide, is an aggressive type of cancer that causes loss of life. Other common symptoms of pancreatic cancer in both men and women are; loss of appetite, involuntary weight loss, yellow eyes and/or skin (jaundice), and pale, large, slippery, and floating stools.

A feeling of fullness in the upper abdomen, even after a small meal, is one of the most common symptoms of stomach cancer. Unfortunately, this symptom is often not noticed until the disease has progressed. Involuntary weight loss is a symptom of stomach cancer that usually affects adults and men more than women. Gastric cancer, which has a high risk of loss of life, is Turkey’s fifth most common cancer type. In our country, stomach cancer ranks fifth with 13 per 100,000 in men and fifth in women with 7 per 100,000.

Frequent Urination

Frequent urination or inability to urinate despite the frequent urge to urinate is one of the insidious symptoms of bladder cancer. In our country, bladder cancer can be described as the fourth most common cancer type in men after lung, prostate, and colon cancers. In women, although the incidence of bladder cancer is lower, it has managed to be among the top 10. In this disease, which mostly affects older men, reddish-yellow or dark-red urine is one of the possible symptoms.

Frequent urge to urinate can also be one of the noticeable symptoms of ovarian cancer. Like many obscure cancer symptoms, urinary problems can be signs of urinary tract infection other than cancer or an enlarged prostate in men.

Mass or Other Changes in the Breast

Any woman who feels a lump and/or lump in her breast will be worried. Although a breast mass is one of the most common symptoms of breast cancer, there are more noticeable symptoms. Swelling of all or part of the breast, redness, or discoloration of the skin of the breast can be signs of inflammatory (inflammatory) breast cancer, which is rare but very aggressive and carries a risk of loss of life. Skin irritation, pits, itching, a scaly appearance, swelling of the nipple or skin of the breast, nipple discharge, inflammatory (inflammatory), and other types of breast cancer can be considered warning signs.

These symptoms are not only for women but also for men to be careful about breast cancer. In particular, men who have received radiotherapy to the chest area should be careful and consult a doctor immediately, just like women, when they encounter any related symptoms. Fortunately, breast cancer is an entirely curable disease when detected early.

Involuntary Weight Loss

Many of us struggle to shed a few pounds. However, if this weight loss happens against our will, it can be a sign of cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, involuntary weight loss of more than 4.5-5 kg on average can be the first sign of many types of cancer. Unexplained weight loss is a common symptom in stomach, pancreatic, lung, and occasionally kidney cancers. Involuntary weight loss is when a person experiences weight loss despite having a good appetite and eating well. In addition, some people may experience nausea, vomiting, and weakness symptoms.


Hoarseness can easily be misdiagnosed as a cold, allergy, or voice disorder. In people who complain of gastrointestinal reflux, stomach acid rises from the esophagus and may cause hoarseness. Another possibility is that chronic hoarseness that persists is common in smokers. However, continued hoarseness needs attention. It allows smokers to consult a doctor in case of persistent hoarseness, which provides for an earlier diagnosis of possible laryngeal or lung cancer and a more effective treatment. Also, hoarseness can indicate esophageal, stomach, or thyroid cancer.

Striped Nails

Dark streaks on your toe or fingernails may not be a cause for concern. However, this can be a sign of skin cancer (melanoma), one of the cancer types with the highest risk of loss of life, and should not be ignored.

In addition, chronic wounds, skin tuberculosis, scars, chemicals containing some carcinogenic substances, and risky moles (large moles with different colors and shapes) may play an active role in skin cancer.

Dear readers, many of the symptoms and dozens more that I have described in my article may be caused by smaller health problems rather than cancer. The best way to ensure this is to talk to your doctor about any ongoing symptoms you believe you have. Abdominal swelling, hoarseness or frequent urge to go to the toilet may be insignificant occasionally. However, if these noticeable symptoms persist for over a few weeks, it would be prudent to consult a doctor. As I have always stated emphatically, early diagnosis in cancer will allow rapid treatment of the patient and positive results.