Cancer symptoms vary depending on the type of cancer, but unexplained weight loss, fatigue, skin changes, fever and pain are some general signs and symptoms of cancer, says the American Cancer Society. If these signs or symptoms persist or worsen, medical evaluation is in order.
Unexplained weight loss of more than 10 pounds is a possible first sign of cancer, especially pancreatic, esophageal, stomach and lung cancers, advises the American Cancer Society. Weight loss is a symptom of most cancers as they progress.
Extreme fatigue that persists despite rest is another potential sign of cancer, indicates the American Cancer Society. Fatigue is often one of the first signs of leukemia and colon and stomach cancers. Fatigue increases as most cancers progress.
Skin changes can signify skin cancer, but they can herald various other types of cancer, explains the American Cancer Society. Signs to watch for include yellowing of the skin and eyes, darkened skin, reddened skin, itching and excessive hair growth.
Fever is sometimes an early sign of lymphoma or leukemia, but most often it develops after the cancer has spread or as a reaction to treatment that impacts the immune system, according to the American Cancer Society. Pain can be an early sign of testicular and bone cancers. Head pain is a symptom of brain cancer, while pain in the back can signify cancer of the colon, rectum or ovary. Pain often occurs once cancer spreads.