Cancer is a disease where cells in the body grow and reproduce uncontrollably. As the cells grow they can destroy healthy tissue and organs and can spread, affecting other parts of the body. There are more than 200 different types of cancer but currently no cure, so recognising symptoms as early as possible for treatment is key. While every cancer has its own specific set of symptoms there are six more general signs to note.

The American Cancer Society lists a number of cancer symptoms which should never be ignored or overlooked.

Six less obvious signs are a fever, fatigue, a change in bowel habits, sores that don’t heal, white spots in the mouth, and indigestion.


Sometimes cancer can affect the immune system and trigger illnesses such as a fever.

The health organisation explains: “Cancer can affect the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight infection that causes fever.

“It can also be an early sign of leukaemia or lymphoma.”


Feeling very tired and there being no improvement should be a warning sign.

It says: “Extreme tiredness that doesn’t get better with rest may be a symptom of several different cancer types including leukaemia, colon cancer, or stomach cancer.”

A change in bowel habits

Long-term constipation, diarrhoea, or a change in size of the stool can indicate colon or rectal cancer.

It says: “Pain when passing urine, blood in the urine, or a change such as needing to go more or less often than usual could be related to bladder or prostate cancer.”

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Sores that don’t heal

Skin cancer may bleed and then look like a sore that doesn’t heal.

It adds: “A long-lasting sore in the mouth could be an oral cancer, especially in people who smoke, chew tobacco, or often drink alcohol.

“Sores on the genital area may either be signs of infection or an early cancer.”

White spots in the mouth

Having white patches in the mouth or white spots on the tongue can be a sign of leukoplakia.

It explains: “Leukoplakia is a pre-cancerous area that’s caused by frequent irritation.

“It’s often caused by smoking or other tobacco use and can become mouth cancer if not treated.”


While this is a common problem, if it persists you should make an appointment to see your GP.

It advises: “Problems that don’t go away may be signs of cancer of the oesophagus, stomach or throat.”

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK, and there are eight symptoms specific to this cancer to watch out for.

Daily Express :: Health Feed


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