Be Careful: The 5 Most Common Types of Cancer and Their Symptoms

  1. Breast Cancer

Did you know that 1 out of 8 women in the world have chances of developing breast cancer? Breast cancer is generally seen in women after menopause, but it can strike much earlier. The majority of breast cancer patients are women. But, every year, about 2,000 U.S men get breast cancer, as well. The most common symptoms of breast cancer are:

  • swelling of all or part of the breast
  • skin irritation or dimpling
  • breast pain
  • nipple pain or the nipple turning inward
  • redness or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
  • a nipple discharge other than breast milk
  • a lump in the underarm area
  1. Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is an abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells found in your prostate gland. It’s the most common cancer in men in the US. Your prostate gland is about the size of a walnut and lies at the base of your bladder. The main function of your prostate gland is to produce fluid that makes up part of your semen. Prostate cancer is different from most other cancers because small growths of cancer inside the prostate are very common and can be harmless for many years. It’s thought that one in eight men may have cancer cells in their prostate at some point in their lives. The most common symptoms are:

  • Problems urinating, including a slow or weak urinary stream or the need to urinate more often, especially at night.
  • Blood in the urine
  • Trouble getting an erection (erectile dysfunction)
  • Pain in the hips, back (spine), chest (ribs), or other areas from cancer spread to bones
  • Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet, or even loss of bladder or bowel control from cancer pressing on the spinal cord.
  1. Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that develops in a woman’s cervix (the entrance to the womb from the vagina). Cancer of the cervix often has no symptoms in its early stages. If you do have symptoms, the most common is unusual vaginal bleeding, which can occur after sex, in between periods or after the menopause. Abnormal bleeding doesn’t mean that you definitely have cervical cancer, but it should be investigated by your GP as soon as possible. If your GP thinks you might have cervical cancer, you should be referred to see a specialist within two weeks. The most common symptoms are:

  • irregular vaginal bleeding
  • vaginal discharge with an unpleasant odor
  • watery vaginal discharge
  • vaginal discharge tinged with blood
  • pelvic or back pain
  • pain during sex
  • problems urinating
  • problems defecating
  • swelling of the legs

cervix cancer

  1. Oral Cancer

Mouth cancer, also known as oral cancer, is where a tumor develops on the surface of the tongue, mouth, lips or gums. Tumors can also occur in the salivary glands, tonsils and the pharynx (the part of the throat from your mouth to your windpipe) but these are less common. A cancer that develops on the inside or outside layer of the body is called a carcinoma and these types of cancer are categorized by the type of cells the cancer starts in. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of mouth cancer, accounting for nine out of 10 cases. Squamous cells are found in many places around the body, including the inside of the mouth and under the skin. The most common symptoms are:

  • an ulcer in your mouth or on your lip
  • discomfort or pain in your mouth
  • red or white patches in your mouth
  • a lump on your lip, tongue or in your neck
  • bad breath
  • unexplained bleeding in your mouth
  • numbness of your tongue or other part of your mouth
  • loose teeth
  • changes to your voice – it may sound hoarse or quieter or you may slur your words 

5 common types of cancer

  1. Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal skin cells. It occurs when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells (most often caused by ultraviolet radiation from sunshine or tanning beds) triggers mutations, or genetic defects, that lead the skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors. There are 3 main types of skin cancers: basal cell skin cancers, squamous cell skin cancers and melanomas skin cancers. The most common symptoms are:

  • appear as a firm, red lump
  • bleed sometimes
  • develop a crust or scab
  • it can be itchy
  • looks like a flat, red spot which is scaly and crusty
  • develop into a painless ulcer
  • make the skin raised in the area of the cancer
  • feel tender to touch
  • bleed sometimes.