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A 22-year-old female asked:

does cancer show strong symptoms before it spreads or are there no symptoms until it spreads?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Diane Minich
Family Medicine 37 years experience
Depends on cancer: Many have no symptoms till it is spread (metastasized)
Dr. Myron Arlen
Surgical Oncology 64 years experience
Few if any symptoms: Most malignant tumors are asymptomatic until they spread. Breast cancer has no pain when detected and except for a mass or mammography finding there are no symptoms until say bone disease occurs and then pain may be noted. When colon cancer spreads to liver or lung there are no symptoms until the primary is detected and further work up detects metastasis. This is true of most tumors.
Dr. Kathleen Gilmore
Urgent Care 26 years experience
Detecting cancer: Many cancers are silent until they spread. Symptoms arise when they spread to compress nerves, blood supply or other vital functions. Some cancers produce hormones or mediators and can produce abnormal signs and symptoms drawing suspicion by means of abnormal dynamic metabolic function, and abnormal test results.

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A 39-year-old member asked:

What are the possibilities of malignancy if you just happen to be 50 years old in the u.S. But with no symptoms?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Dan Fisher
Internal Medicine 27 years experience
Breast/colon/cervix: All malignancies are without symptoms at onset. The malignancies we can detect early enough to prevent mortality are colon, breast and cervical cancer. 50 year old should be in some program of prevention and early detection for these.

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Last updated Jun 29, 2014
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