What Are Some Late-Stage Cancer Symptoms?


Quick Answer

Late-stage cancer symptoms include a persistent feeling of physical and emotional fatigue, chronic pain, an aversion to food and shortness of breath, according to the American Cancer Society. Many symptoms cause and exacerbate other symptoms; the loss of appetite often causes patients to lose weight, and acute pain can increase the feeling of fatigue. Near the end of the patient's life, extreme congestion causes breathing difficulty and a pronounced rattling sound in the lungs.

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Full Answer

Multiple symptoms contribute to a patient's loss of appetite, including pain, reactions to medication and changes in the taste buds, states the American Cancer Society. Patients often experience diarrhea and vomiting, which cause nausea and impact the appetite.

Late-stage cancer patients may also present with psychological symptoms such as sadness, mood changes or depression, asserts the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Near the end of their lives, patients often become confused or upset. Restlessness is common among cancer sufferers. Other common symptoms are bloating, gas, constipation and weakness.

As death nears, symptoms change, according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Patients may experience extreme fatigue that prevents them from taking above a whisper. The patient's body temperature drops, circulation slows and the patient may experience longer periods between breaths.

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