5 Common Cancers and their Symptoms

5 Common Cancers and their Symptoms


There are over 100 types of cancer, and they can occur to any person regardless of age, gender, and race. Cancer can be treated successfully if diagnosed earlier. However, some cancer types don’t have early signs, so they cannot be discovered right away. Just make sure that you visit your doctor to find out if you are at risk for certain types of cancers.

Here are the five most common cancers in the Philippines and their symptoms:

1. Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the leading type of cancer in the recent years. Smoking cigarettes is one of the risk factors for lung cancer.

Signs and symptoms of lung cancer include:

  • Blood clots on sputum
  • Bone pain
  • Cough that worsens within 2 weeks
  • Coughing up of blood
  • Frequent headaches
  • Hoarseness or other voice changes
  • Not feeling hungry
  • Persistent chest pain
  • Frequent lung infections (like pneumonia or bronchitis)
  • Shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Unintentional weight loss

Lung cancer doesn’t show any early symptoms. As the lungs have fewer nerve endings, tumors can develop without causing pain.

2. Colorectal Cancer

Age is one of the risk factors for colorectal cancer. About 90% of colorectal cancers occur in older adults aged 50 years old and up.

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Bright red blood in the rectum when wiped by a tissue
  • Changes in your bowel habits (like constipation, diarrhea, or narrow stools) that lasts for more than a few days
  • Dark red or black blood in the stool
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Pressure in the abdomen or this may feel like you always need to defecate.
  • Recurrent abdominal pain that lasts for more than a week
  • Unintentional weight loss

Signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer can mimic some of the symptoms of hemorrhoids and irritable bowel syndrome.

3. Liver cancer

Chronic viral hepatitis, cirrhosis and excessive alcohol consumption are some of the risk factors for liver cancer.

Signs and symptoms include:

  • A swollen abdomen
  • Abnormal bruising or bleeding
  • An enlarged liver (mass under the ribs on the right)
  • An enlarged spleen (mass under the ribs on the left)
  • Anorexia (loss of appetite)
  • Constipation
  • Enlarged veins in your belly
  • Feeling full even after taking in a small amount of food
  • Fever
  • Jaundice
  • Lightheadedness or fainting
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Pain in your abdomen or pain close to your right shoulder bone
  • Skin itching that isn’t due to another cause
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Weakness or confusion

4. Breast Cancer

A family history of breast cancer can increase the risk of having one.

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Irritation, dimpling, thickening, redness, or scaliness of the skin on your breast
  • Nipple discharge that isn’t breast milk
  • Nipple retraction (a nipple that’s “dented” or turned inward)
  • Pain in your breast or nipple
  • Painless lump or mass in your breast, armpit, or around your collarbone.
  • Swelling in your breast

If you notice these signs and symptoms, consult your doctor.

5. Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is considered as the third leading cause of death for most men.

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Urinating problems
  • Pain during urination
  • A continuing urge to urinate (especially at night)
  • Erection problem
  • Ejaculation changes ( pain and problem)
  • Blood in the urine or ejaculation fluid
  • Pain in your lower back, thighs, hips, or pelvic area
  • Pressure or pain in your rectum
LH Prime – Top 10 Cancer Types In The Philippines. LH Prime. http://www.lhprime.com/news/top-10-cancer-types-philippines/. Published 2019. Accessed January 22, 2019.


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-Medical Observer

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