Cancer symptoms: Top 14 early signs to look out for
There are more than 200 different types of known cancer, which are typically defined by where they start in the body.
While some iterations of the disease are well known, with many people aware of the symptoms to look for, others are not so well known.
Sarcoma falls into the latter category, with a recent survey finding 90 percent of people were unaware of what the cancer is.
Typically broken down into two categories – soft tissue and bone – sarcoma can affect any part of the body.
It is the third most common type of cancer found in children, and affects more than 5,000 people every year.
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Given the fact it is little known and understood by most people, an expert spoke exclusively with Express.co.uk about signs of the disease to look for.
Doctor Sorrel Bickley, director of research, policy and support for Sarcoma UK, said: “If you’ve never heard of sarcoma before, you’re not alone.
“Sarcoma is a rare type of cancer that can affect any part of the body, on the inside or outside, including the muscle, bone, tendons, blood vessels and fatty tissues.
“We know that around 15 people are diagnosed with sarcoma cancer every day in the UK. It can affect anyone, at any age, and it’s vital that healthcare professionals can recognise its signs and symptoms.”
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She shared four signs that can appear after eating food.
- Stomach pain
- Feeling sick
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling full after eating only a small amount of food.
Dr Bickley added: “Some forms of sarcoma known as a gastrointestinal stromal tumour, or GISTs, can start in the gastrointestinal tract.
“With this type of sarcoma, people most often experience symptoms like fatigue, anaemia, weight loss, feeling sick or discomfort around their stomach.”
She warned of other symptoms that shouldn’t be ignored.
A lump which is growing or changing
“Sarcoma is a complicated cancer but the most common symptom to look out for is a lump, which could be anywhere on the body including your arm or leg,” she said.
“Most lumps aren’t harmful and a lump that isn’t getting bigger, isn’t causing any pain, or that has been there for a long time isn’t likely to be anything to worry about.
“But if it’s growing quickly or measures more than five centimetres – about the size of a golf ball – then you should get it checked by your GP.”
Swelling, tenderness or pain in or around the bone
She said: “Sarcoma cancer can also start in a bone, and the most common symptoms that people with bone sarcomas experience are unexplained pain or tenderness around a bone.
“If the pain is getting worse and doesn’t go away with rest, or at night, you should go and see your GP to get it checked.”
Blood in your poo or vomit
Dr Bickley said: “Noticing blood in your poo or vomit can also be a sign of a gastrointestinal stromal tumour or GIST.
“There are lots of causes for blood in poo or vomit, but it needs to be checked by a medical professional.”
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