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Odd body changes that are telltale signs of cancer

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By Abi Gibson - - 5 Mins Read
Woman observing herself for cancer symptoms
Featured | Shutterstock

It's almost impossible to identify one specific symptom of cancer as there are several types of cancer, some of which have less visible and unexpected symptoms.

In some cases, people may confuse cancer signs and symptoms with unrelated ailments or diseases.

Research shows that one in three people will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime.

The American Cancer Society has identified that certain lifestyle choices, such as smoking, drinking, and consuming fried foods, are linked to a higher risk of cancer. Age and family history are also determinants of cancer.

In 2021, lung cancer alone claimed the lives of 134,592 people. Experts believe that patients remain unaware of the signs and symptoms of cancer, making it difficult to identify the disease amidst the numerous risk factors that keep us awake.

Medical professionals have now highlighted less common cancer symptoms that could potentially threaten human health.


A child under intensive health care
A child-cancer patient | National Cancer Institute


  1. Consistent Heartburn: This feeling often occurs after a meal or late at night. Although heartburn is a known symptom of heart attack, it could also be a sign and symptom of stomach or esophageal cancer.
  2. New Pain That Never Stops: People often feel a new pain in an unusual area but ignore or dismiss it as a perk of getting older; however, it might be a cancer sign or symptom. Pain may occur in any unusual area when the tumor is pressed against the bone, nerve, or body organ.
  3. Unusual Night Heat Or Sweat: Although night heat and sweat might seem normal, you should be more concerned if you have persistent night heat and continuously changing nightwear. This could pose a cancer sign and symptom of lymphoma, Carcinoid tumors, or leukemia.
  4. Sudden Weight Loss: Sudden weight loss is one of the less common cancer symptoms that is rarely noted. Unexpected weight loss can be a cancer sign, as can symptoms such as diabetes, heart failure, or dementia, to mention a few. If you notice that you've shed 5 percent of your body weight in less than 7 months without extra effort, you should tell your doctor.
  5. Swallowing Difficulty: If you are unable to swallow food down your throat, this could be a cancer sign and symptoms of cancer of the throat or mouth, this is a condition where the tumor blocks the food passage. Swallowing difficulty is also related to cancer of the lungs.
Also read: Preparing for Chemotherapy — Planning Your Time and Getting Set


In conclusion, it's vital to heed seemingly minor symptoms like night sweats, persistent heartburn, swallowing difficulties, and sudden weight loss, as they could signal underlying cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds or more, persistent heartburn, and difficulty swallowing are potential early signs of various cancers. Ignoring these symptoms could delay diagnosis and treatment, significantly impacting prognosis.

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek prompt medical evaluation to ensure early detection and better treatment outcomes. Your proactive approach to your health could make all the difference.