Causes & Symptoms
What causes cancer?
Not all causes of cancer are fully understood and many types of cancer have causes that are unknown. It is unclear why one person gets cancer while another doesn't, even when the same risk factors are shared.
Doctors and scientists do understand some common causes of cancer. For example, smoking is the major cause of lung cancer, and sunlight is the major cause of skin cancer.
Despite the unclear causes of many types of cancer, there are still many risk factors related to cancer. A risk factor is something closely connected to cancer that increases the likelihood of developing cancer.
What are the symptoms of cancer?
There are many different symptoms of cancer. Some cancers don't have symptoms, while others have symptoms that don't appear till long after the cancer has started and has become serious. Symptoms of cancer can show up in various ways throughout the body:
Changes to general well-being:
Fevers, chills, and night sweats
Sudden, unintended weight changes
A general feeling of sickness or a persistent sense of not feeling well
Muscle or joint pain that won't go away
Changes related to energy levels:
Changes to skin:
Changes related to eating, breathing, and digestion:
Loss of appetite
Changes in bowel or bladder habits
Persistent cough or trouble breathing
Persistent indigestion or discomfort after eating
Persistent diarrhea, constipation, or bloody stools
If you have any of these symptoms or any other symptoms that concern you, make an appointment with your doctor.
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