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What are the symptoms of cancer?

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Quick Answer

The usual signs and symptoms of cancer include significant weight loss, fever, fatigue and pain, states the American Cancer Society. Cancer's signs and symptoms depend on its location and size and the extent of its effect on the body's organs and tissues.

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What are the symptoms of cancer?
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Full Answer

Cancer usually puts pressure on surrounding organs, blood vessels and nerves as it grows, thus causing different signs and symptoms, notes the ACS. One of the potential first signs of the disease is an unexplained weight loss of around 10 pounds. People with cancers of the pancreas, stomach or esophagus often lose weight as the disease develops. Fever is another common symptom that occurs once the cancer has affected other areas of the body. Nearly all patients with cancer experience fever, especially when the cancer treatment or the cancer itself affects the immune system.

As cancer grows, people also suffer fatigue or severe tiredness that does not improve with rest, says the ACS. In some cases, colon or stomach cancer causes unnoticeable blood loss that results in fatigue. Patients with bone cancer or testicular cancer typically experience pain during the onset of the disease. Brain tumor causes a recurring headache that does not improve with treatment. Back pain is associated with cancers of the colon, rectum or ovary. Most of the time, pain means the cancer has grown larger and has spread to other areas.

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