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Warning Signs of Cancer

By Bruce A. Chabner, MD, Harvard Medical School;Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center ; Elizabeth Chabner Thompson, MD, MPH, New York Group for Plastic Surgery

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Cancer can cause many different symptoms, some subtle and some not at all subtle. Some symptoms develop early in the course of cancer, such as a painless lump in the breast, and are therefore important warning signs that should be evaluated by a doctor. Other symptoms, such as weight loss or fever, develop only after the cancer progresses. Still other symptoms, such as a change in bowel habits, blood in the stool, or swallowing difficulty, are signs of cancer in specific sites of the body.

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* This is the Consumer Version. *