Some bizarre cancer symptoms that might surprise you
There are many different ways in which our bodies indicate that something is wrong, yet sometimes the symptoms are so busy that we either tend to overlook them or mistake them for some other condition. Cancer is a progressive disease marked by symptoms that develop gradually and one might not experience any symptoms during the initial stages. Although the symptoms associated with cancer vary from one patient to another depending upon the type of cancer, its grade, area of the body that has been involved, whether cancer has metastasized or not, age of the patient and various other factors, there are some symptoms that are widely generalized. These include the development of mass or tumour, unexplained fatigue and weakness, unintended weight loss and decreased appetite. While these cancer symptoms are quite obvious they are others, that are imperceptible and hence mostly overlooked. In this blog, we have elaborated on some such symptoms with the help of the top medical oncologist in Gurgaon.
- Chronic cough – Cough is usually associated with infections and in extreme cases, it might be a sign of Tuberculosis. Many of us won't think beyond that, but it is important to know that a persistent cough could be a sign of cancer. Yes, you read that right, if one has been experiencing cough for a very long time, it could be a sign of cancer related to the lungs, larynx and thyroid. Cough could also indicate the prevalence of lymphoma and leukaemia if it is accompanied by droplets of blood. Usually, when we have a cough, we tend to take antibiotics, which show results within a week or so. However, if your cough is not responding to any medication and is aggravating day by day, it is very important to see a doctor.
- Unexplained pain – When do you usually experience pain? Well, there are many reasons that could lead to it like excessive wear and tear of the bones and joints, an injury or an underlying degenerative disease. But, have you ever experienced pain without any reason and out of nowhere? If the answer is yes, you should consider seeing a doctor immediately. Unexplained body pain could be a sign of cancer, and unlike normal pain that tends to subside with time, that caused by cancer tends to aggravate with time, even if you are taking medication and rest. In fact, it is not only the pain that you should be worried about but other indications like bruises, swelling and lumps. The best medical oncologist in Gurgaon suggests that frequent headaches could be a sign of a brain tumour, back pain could be an indication of malignancies related to the breast, liver or lungs and chest pain could be a manifestation of leukaemia. Instead of taking your pain lightly you should go and see a doctor for proper evaluation.
- Altered bladder and bowel habits – Any change in the bladder or bowel habits could be caused by something that you either drank or ate. But, this is not the case always. These changes might not always be related to your eating habits but could also be a sign of cancer. Many people are not open about such symptoms either because they are too uncomfortable to discuss it or they think it's not something serious. It is very important to understand that changes in bathroom habits are not something normal and especially if you have been practising good control over your eating habits. Change in bowel habits has been associated with gastrointestinal cancer, whereas problems like bladder incontinence have been linked to prostate cancer. If the changes in your bladder and bowel habits are caused by a malignancy, there are very high chances of you passing blood with urine and stool. Look out for the symptoms and consult a specialist for a reliable diagnosis.
- Changes in your nails – Did you know that any unexplained change in the appearance of your nails could be a sign of cancer? Well, most of you would ve surprised after reading this, but it's true. There are certain forms of skin cancer, usually the aggressive ones, that can cause the colour of your nails to change. In such cases, the nails may turn blue or brown or may develop dark lines or dots. Some people may also experience clubbing, which is marked by a change in the shape of the nails. Clubbing has been linked with lung cancer. Also, if your nails are looking pale or yellowish, it could mean that you have liver cancer. You should, however, not reach any conclusion without proper evaluation and assessment.
If you have been experiencing any of the above mention symptoms it is highly recommended to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis.
Dr. Sunny Garg
Head of Department and Senior Consultant