Good afternoon! The symptoms are many. They depend on the localization of the malignant tumor, its type. The surest way is to be attentive to your health. Any change in the body must be taken with caution.
Many oncological diseases do not make themselves felt for the time being. Severe symptoms in the early stages may be absent and appear when the tumor has increased in size. At a certain moment, the body begins to give signals.
The signals can be anything. For example, loss of appetite. It can be caused by various reasons, including stomach cancer. If there is no appetite for a long time, then this is a reason to go to the doctor.
Mild pain when swallowing food can be a symptom of esophageal cancer. It all starts with them. Subsequently, new signs are added.
Such a seemingly harmless phenomenon as a change in voice, if it lasts for a long time, can be a symptom of throat cancer. Stool change is a sign of bowel cancer.
There are many such signs.
For timely detection of cancer, it is necessary to undergo periodic screening examinations. This is especially important after 40 years. They do not take much time, but they are able to identify the disease in the embryo. You can read more about them by following the link.
It is easiest to recognize malignant neoplasms on the skin. They are visible. Self-examinations should be carried out periodically. You can read about how to do this here. The appearance of a new mole is a reason to think about a visit to the doctor.
Indeed, if we are dealing with an oncological disease, then both the doctor and the patient would like it to be an early stage of cancer. Unfortunately, most of the early stage tumors do not manifest themselves in any way. Moreover, this may sometimes apply to more advanced stages of the disease of some organs. Knowing this, the most logical thing would be a constant examination of all organs and systems (once a year, for example) in all people, starting from childhood. But the likelihood that we will find cancer this way is low. But what we find, we will take for a malignant tumor and try to cure (benign tumors, cysts, etc.) is very likely. And along with this we will get complications of diagnosis, treatment, not to mention the psychological and material aspects of the issue. In this regard, it is imperative to understand who is examined and who is not. Therefore, as a result of epidemiological studies, screening methods have been developed aimed precisely at detecting early forms of cancer. And the main indication is just the same increased risk of developing cancer. The risk may increase with age, family history of cancer, smoking, etc. Currently, screening is used in the world for lung cancer, breast cancer, colon and rectal cancer, cervical cancer. In particular, for colon and rectal cancer, colonoscopy every 5 years, starting from 50 years. or an annual fecal occult blood test starting at age 50.
- for breast cancer: women need to undergo mammography annually, starting from 45 years. Then, starting at age 50-54, the timing changes.
These are now proven methods of detecting cancer at an early stage. Do not forget that if there were cases of cancer in the family, you need to contact an oncologist to clarify your risks, there is a possibility that they can be increased.
In order to give a complete answer to this question, it is necessary to clarify that cancer (let's call it that, although cancer is by no means all cancers) doctors divide into several stages. The first, and earliest, is not detected clinically, and consists only in local changes in cells. It is impossible to detect such cancer clinically (that is, by symptoms and complaints), but some of these changes in the cell are accompanied by "precancerous" diseases, which are characterized by cell metaplasia. For example, for stomach cancer, such a disease is an ulcer.
Thus, warning symptoms for cancer may be the symptoms of precancerous conditions.
When to see an oncologist? Do not hurry. An oncologist deals with the exclusion of oncology, and before that, you will face other doctors. Cancer has its own risk factors for their development (for example, age, smoking, diet, etc.), so if you have several risk factors, you should contact a specialist: a surgeon or therapist. Often fears are unfounded and a few simple studies will dispel your doubts.