Cancer symptoms: Two types of body pain 'consistently' associated with cancer

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This association was consistent when reported alone or with other symptoms, whereas the opposite was true for abnormal mole, breast lump, postmenopausal bleeding, and rectal bleeding.

For 13 of the 20 symptoms (abnormal mole, breast lump; post-menopausal bleeding; rectal bleeding; lower urinary tract symptoms; haematuria; change in bowel habit; hoarseness; fatigue; abdominal pain; lower abdominal pain; weight loss; and the “any other symptom” category), more than 50 percent of patients were diagnosed at stages other than stage four; for 19 of the 20 studied symptoms (all except for neck lump), more than a third of patients were diagnosed at stages other than stage four.

The researchers concluded: “Despite specific presenting symptoms being more strongly associated with advanced stage at diagnosis than others, for most symptoms, large proportions of patients are diagnosed at stages other than stage IV.

“These findings provide support for early diagnosis interventions targeting common cancer symptoms, countering concerns that they might be simply expediting the detection of advanced stage disease.”



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