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Fatigue, weakness, and lethargy

Fatigue, weakness, and lethargy
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Leukaemia and brain tumours can cause cancer-related fatigue. For people with leukaemia, this is usually because of anaemia (a deficiency of red blood cells), which only compounds the physical exhaustion. People with a brain tumour, however, experience weakness and lethargy due to disrupted nerve signals. There are also some colon or stomach cancers that can cause blood loss that leads to fatigue. The later stages of kidney cancer will also rob energy, reports the Mayo Clinic.

Chronic coughing

Chronic coughing
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If you have a persistent cough for more than three weeks without other cold or allergy symptoms, it could be an early sign of lung or throat cancer. (However, there are many other causes of a chronic cough, including asthma.) Leukaemia can also cause symptoms that seem like bronchitis or a bad chest cold. Not surprisingly, coughing up blood can be another cancer symptom, especially if it’s bright red and looks bubbly from mixing with air and mucus.

These silent signs could indicate that your lungs are in trouble.

New, dark nail marks

New, dark nail marks
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Melanoma of the nails – officially known as subungual melanoma – hits up to 3.5 per cent of people with melanoma. Rare as it is, it’s crucial to remember this tell-tale sign: a dark black or brown line across a fingernail or toenail.

 

Blood or blood clots in your urine

Blood or blood clots in your urine
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Leukaemia, bladder cancer, prostate and kidney cancer could all cause blood in your urine – and so it’s not something to ignore. Blood in the urine is the most common sign of bladder cancer, notes urologist and urologic oncologist, Dr Gary Steinberg. (Blood in the urine can also be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI) or other conditions.) The blood doesn’t always have to look bright red. Sometimes, it looks brown, like the colour of cola. If you notice blood in your urine, see a doctor right away.

Read on for some weird reasons your urine smells funny.

Pain or burning when urinating

Pain or burning when urinating
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Pain or a burning sensation during urination can be an indicator of bladder cancer. (Or also, more commonly, a UTI or another condition.) “Many patients, especially as we get older, will have changes in our urination,” says Dr Steinberg. Gradual changes are OK, but if you suddenly experience new, uncomfortable symptoms, see a doctor right away.

A shift in bowel habits

A shift in bowel habits
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This is one of the most obvious symptoms of colon cancer, according to the Cancer Concil of Australia. If you have issues with long-term constipation, diarrhoea, or a difference in stool size, speak to your doctor. This can be a symptom of many other conditions, but could also be a sign of ovarian cancer, either because the disease has spread to the colon or has triggered the build-up of fluid in the area.

These surprising home remedies can help ease constipation.

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Subtle vision loss

Subtle vision loss
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Cancers that start in the brain or spinal cord – or have spread there – may cause blurred vision, double vision or vision loss. Patients often won’t notice the issue until they realise they’re continually bumping into things on one side of their body, or have repeated car accidents on the side suffering damage.

Unusual vaginal discharge

Unusual vaginal discharge
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Uterine or cervical cancer could cause out-of-the-ordinary vaginal discharge. Persistent discharge that has a different colour, or that has an odour, could be the result of dead or dying tissue, says gynaecologist, Dr Tracy Scheller.  It’s normal and healthy for discharge to change throughout the month, and it can vary in thickness, opacity and consistency. But any vaginal discharge that is pale, watery, foul-smelling, brown, or bloody could be a sign of cervical cancer.

Shortness of breath

Shortness of breath
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Like so many cancer symptoms, this one’s indistinct: shortness of breath could mean leukaemia, lung cancer, or nothing at all. As their disease worsens, leukaemia patients might experience – in addition to fatigue and weakness – shortness of breath that stems from anaemia or, in much rarer cases, masses in the chest. For people with lung cancer, shortness of breath can come from a tumour blocking the windpipe or an accumulation of fluid in the chest, says professor of thoracic surgery, Dr Raja Flores. Trouble breathing when you’re sitting or lying down can also be a sign of trouble.

 

Losing weight without trying

Losing weight without trying
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An unexplained weight loss of five kilos or more may be the first sign of cancer. This happens most often with cancers of the pancreas, stomach, oesophagus, lung and liver.

If you’re trying to lose weight, you should ignore these common weight loss tips.

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