TNN| Kalpana Sharma | January 12, 2017
Lesser known cancer symptoms

1/8Lesser known cancer symptoms
Cancer is spreading like an epidemic. According to National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research, an estimated of 2.5 million people are living with cancer in India. Reports suggest that over 7,00,000 cancer cases are registered every year. They can be prevented and treated if detected at an early stage, thereby bringing down the number of cancer deaths in India.
Dr Mandeep S Malhotra, Head- Dept of Head, Neck & Breast Oncoplasty, Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital, Vasant Kunj explains, “It is not necessary that the rarest of disease will present with the rarest of symptoms. More often, cancer symptoms are so common that people tend to ignore.” Here are some specific cancer symptoms which are commonly not addressed
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by Kalpana Sharma
Unexplained weight loss

2/8Unexplained weight loss
Dr Meenu Walia, Director, Medical Oncology at Max Super Specialty Hospital, Patparganj says, “When you lose weight of 10 pounds or more without trying, may be the first sign of cancer. This is most common among cancers of the pancreas, stomach, oesophagus (swallowing tube), or lung. Tumors that press on the intestines make you feel full with small amount of food or some secretions can suppress your appetite.”
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If you experience chronic or intermittent constipation, it’s better to get a diagnosis done. With colon cancer, for example, if it is diagnosed in the earliest stages, survival rates are well over 90 per cent. “If the cancer is more advanced and has spread beyond the colon, survival rates drop dramatically,” adds Dr Walia.
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Unexplained lump

4/8Unexplained lump
Along with any lump in the breasts, lumps in armpits or breast tail should be examined. Nipple discharge specially blood stained or any dimpling over breast skin should not be ignored. Also pay attention to lumps that develop elsewhere and change shapes and sizes.
Unexplained abdominal pain and bloating

5/8Unexplained abdominal pain and bloating
There can sometimes be an abnormal build-up of fluid in the abdomen or pelvis called Ascites. It can cause bloating, weight gain and even lead to a rapidly expanding waistline. Ascites is usually caused by liver disease, but cancer is the culprit about 10 per cent of the time. Sometimes, the fluid is so large in amount that it can make you look several months pregnant.
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Persistent change in bowel habits

6/8Persistent change in bowel habits
Immediate medical attention is a must to avoid complications like bowel perforation that can be fatal. Obstructions are painful because the bowel above the blocked area stretches as it fills with food and digestive juices. The pain is intense and may occur in waves as the bowels try to push their contents through the