Cancer Symptoms in AYA Young Adults with Cancer

By Wells Foster and Jacob Young
*This guide is for educational purposes only. This guide is not to be used as a substitute for medical treatment and is not intended to diagnose any illness or disease.

    Cancer is a varying and wide disease. Each type of cancer has its own unique symptoms, and many cancer symptoms are also symptoms of common, more benign illnesses. This is a guide showing some of the common cancer symptoms and things to be on the lookout for. If you suspect you have cancer contact your doctor immediately.
   
Cancer is best treated when caught early, so knowing possible symptoms could prevent cancer from becoming worse.


Some common symptoms include:

Unexpected and rapid weight loss
Losing weight quickly and rapidly is a possible symptom of cancer. Losing ten or more pounds within a few weeks can be an early warning sign of cancer of the pancreas, esophagus, or lung. 

Fever
A fever is a common symptom among many illnesses, so don’t fear if you have a fever and immediately think it’s cancer. However, almost all forms of cancer will produce a fever at some point. A fever is often a sign of cancer spreading from one area to another. Fever can be a sign of blood cancers, such as leukemia or lymphoma. 

Fatigue
Fatigue is a feeling of extreme tiredness that does not subside with rest. Fatigue can be a symptom of some colon or stomach cancers, as well as some blood cancers.

Skin color changes
Changes in skin color can be a sign of skin cancer. Symptoms include hyperpigmentation (darker skin color) erythema (reddend skin) and jaundice (yellowing skin.)
These are just general symptoms that are seen in several types of cancer. Certain cancers have their own symptoms.

Some of the most common cancer-specific symptoms are:

Sores that won’t heal   
Skin cancers can appear like common sores that won’t heal. Long term sores on the mouth could be signs of oral cancer, common in individuals that drink excessively and/or consume tobacco. Sores on genitalia could be cancer symptoms and should be seen by a health professional.


A blemish/wart changing.
A wart, freckle, or mole that changes size, color, or shape should be seen by a medical professional ASAP, as that could be a sign of skin cancer. 


Change in bathroom habits
Changes in frequency of defecation, urination, or a change in consistency of defecation could be symptoms of prostate cancer or bladder cancer.

A long-term cough
A cough that refuses to go away could be a sign of lung cancer. Hoarseness can be a sign of cancer in the larynx (your voice box) or of the thyroid gland.
 
   Cancer has many symptoms and each form of cancer has its own unique variations. If you believe you have cancer symptoms seek medical attention as soon as possible. 


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