Cancer symptoms: Five signs you should be looking out for during coronavirus lockdown

Cancer symptoms are important to recognise to ensure early diagnosis and a better chance of survival. While symptoms linked to cancer are often caused by other, non-cancerous illnesses, it’s still important to contact your GP so they can investigate.


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It should be noted at this time, as part of the UK’s current lockdown measures to prevent further spread of coronavirus, people should ring their GP surgery rather than visit and request a call back from their doctor.

So what are the signs and symptoms of cancer to look out for? American Cancer Society lists five general signs to look out for.

Unexplained weight loss

Most people with cancer will lose weight at some point, according to the health site.

It explains: “When you lose weight for no known reason, it’s called an unexplained weight loss.

“An unexpected weight loss of 10 pounds or more may be the first sign of cancer.

“This happens most often with cancers of the pancreas, stomach, oesophagus or lung.”


Fever is the one of the main symptoms of coronavirus, but it’s also very common with cancer.

American Cancer Society says it more often happens after cancer has spread from where it started.

It says: “Almost all people with cancer will have fever at some time, especially if the cancer or its treatment affects the immune system. (This can make it harder for the body to fight infection.)

“Less often, fever may be an early sign of cancer, such as blood cancers like leukaemia or lymphoma.”


Fatigue, a term used to describe extreme tiredness that doesn’t get better with rest, may be an imprint symptoms as cancer grows.

The site explains: “It may happen early in some cancers, like leukaemia.


  • Prostate cancer symptoms: When do you go to the bathroom?

“Some colon or stomach cancers can cause blood loss that’s not obvious. This is another way cancer can cause fatigue.”


Pain may be an early symptoms with some cancers like bone cancers or testicular cancer.

The site says: “A headache that does not go away or get better with treatment may be a symptom of a brain tumour.

“Back pain can be a symptom of cancer of the colon, rectum or ovary.

“Most often, pain due to cancer means it has already spread (metastasised) from where it started.”

Skin changes

Along with sin cancers, some other cancers can cause skin changes.

The site says signs to look out for include:

  • Darker looking skin (hyperpigmentation)
  • Yellowish skin and eyes (jaundice)
  • Reddened skin (erythema)
  • Itching (pruritus)
  • Excessive hair growth

While these symptoms don’t mean you definitely have cancer, it’s always worth checking then out with your GP.

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