Cancer symptoms: Experiencing night sweats could be a sign of cancer – when to see a GP

By | January 20, 2019

More than one in three people will develop some sort of cancer during their lifetime, according to the NHS. The four most common types of the disease in the UK are breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer and bowel cancer. However, there are over 200 different types of cancer overall, all with varying symptoms. You may think symptoms of a serious disease like cancer would be obvious – we all know the appearance of a lump, for example, should be checked out.

But there are many more symptoms to be wary of, which may not seem like obvious signs of a serious health problem at all.

One less obvious sign of cancer, according to Cancer Research UK, is very heavy night sweats.

Sweating at night can be caused by infections or it can be a side effect of certain medications. It’s also often experienced by women around the time of the menopause.

But “very heavy, drenching night sweats” can also be a sign of cancer and should be checked out by your doctor, advises Cancer Research.

According to the cancer charity, heavy night sweats could be associated with both non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphoma, carcinoid tumours, leukaemia, mesothelioma, bone cancer and liver cancer.

People with advanced cancer of any type can also experience sweating.

Non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphoma are both types of cancer that develop in the lymphatic system – a network of vessels and glands spread throughout the body.

As well as night sweats, symptoms include unintentional weight loss, fever, breathlessness and persistent itching of the skin.

The most common symptom in both types of lymphoma is a painless swelling in a lymph node, usually in the neck, armpit or groin.

Carcinoid tumours are a type of slow-growing cancer that arise in several parts of the body.

Symptoms will depend on the part of the body affected, and usually include pain in that particular area.

Leukaemia is a cancer affecting the white blood cells. Symptoms typically include pale skin, tiredness, breathlessness, fever, weight loss, bone and joint pain, bruising and bleeding easily, and frequent infections.

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops in the lining that covers the outer surface of some of the body’s organs.

Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, persistent coughing and unexplained weight loss.

Other symptoms of bone cancer, meanwhile, include bone pain, fever and unexplained weight loss.

Other symptoms of liver cancer include unexpected weight loss, feeling very full after eating, loss of appetite, pain or swelling in the tummy, itchy skin, jaundice and feeling very tired and weak.

These symptoms may not necessarily mean you have cancer, but it’s best to get them checked out in case.

“Don’t put something new or different about your body down to getting older or another health condition you might have,” said Cancer Research.

“If you notice any unusual changes or anything that doesn’t go away, see your doctor.”

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