Cancer symptoms largely depend on the type of cancer a person has. For example breast cancer symptoms usually affect the breasts and the area around them. But there are some more general signs to note that indicate more than one type of cancer. One of these includes unexplained bleeding.
Unexplained bleeding related to cancer can occur in five different places
Unexplained bleeding related to cancer can occur in five different places, according to the NHS.
These signs to watch out for are:
- Blood in your urine
- Bleeding between periods
- Bleeding from your bottom
- Blood when you cough
- Blood in your vomit
Blood in your urine
Blood in urine can be a signs of bladder cancer, and may be bright pink, red or dark brown in colour.
But the health body notes blood in urine could come from anywhere in the urinary tract – the bladder, kidneys or urethra (the tube that carries pee out of the body).
It advises: “If you have other symptoms, this might give you an idea of the cause.
“Don’t self-diagnose – see a GP if you think it’s blood in your urine.
“It may not be blood in your urine if you’ve recently eaten beetroot – this can turn your urine pink, you’re taking a new medicine – some medicines can turn urine red or brown, you’re bleeding from your bottom instead, or it’s happening during your period.”
Bleeding between periods
Bleeding between periods can sometimes be a sign of cervical cancer.
The health body states: “Bleeding between periods, bleeding after having sex or bleeding after the menopause needs to be checked by a doctor.
“It might be caused by an infection, abnormalities in the neck of the womb (the cervix) or, in rare cases, it could be cancer.”
Bleeding from your bottom
Bleeding is often the first sign of anal cancer, but it’s important to note anal cancer symptoms sometimes don’t show at all.
The health body says: “You might be bleeding from the bottom if you have blood on your toilet paper, red steaks on the outside of your poo, pink water in the toilet bowl, blood in your poo or bloody diarrhoea, and very dark, smelly poo (this can be blood mixed in poo).”
If you experience any of these symptoms see your GP.
Blood when you cough
Lung cancer and cancer of the throat or windpipe can cause blood to appear when you cough.
While coughing up blood is alarming, it isn’t usually a sign of a serious problem, says the health body.
It advises: “Call your GP surgery as soon as possible if you cough up blood, even if it’s just a few spots or specks.”
Blood in your vomit
Blood in your vomit could be a sign of a serious problem.
Common causes include stomach ulcer or severe gastritis, oesophageal varices, severe gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, a tear in the oesophagus or swallowed blood.
Less common causes include cancer of the oesophagus or stomach cancer.
The health body warns: “You should go to your GP surgery or nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department.”
Symptoms of cancer may also appear in a person’s face.
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