84 People Share The First Signs Of Cancer, Based On Their Personal Experience

Talking about illness is not easy; however, it helps to raise awareness and emphasizes things that shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to health. And even though no two stories are the same, some symptoms are specific to certain illnesses, which is why learning about them can prove useful.

Redditor u/TrojanZebra started a conversation on the topic with the members of the ‘Ask Reddit’ community. He addressed people who have gone through or were going through cancer and asked them what was the first sign that made them go to the doctor. Fellow redditors provided answers and shared their personal experiences with battling the disease. Scroll down to find the stories in their own words below.


I had a persistent pain in the middle of my sternum. Doctors thought it was costochondritis (essentially just inflammation of a joint). I stopped working out and lifting heavy things for 3 months but it didn't go away. Eventually I started having nightsweats and random aches. After I fractured my hip, I got an MRI and biopsy and they diagnosed me with stage IV non Hodgkin's lymphoma. I got chemo and I've been in remission for 5 years.

EDIT: I'm seeing a lot of people describing a similar chest pain and getting scared. Not all chest pain is cancer and not all cancer is chest pain. I felt the pain in my chest because my tumor happened to be growing there. It could just as easily have grown somewhere else, and my story might have started with describing a persistent pain in the middle of my shin.

If you're worried about something, talk to your doctor!

Image credits: thedancingwireless


My cat found my cancer and bugged me about it until I went to the doctor.

My cat has always like to lay on me and “knead” part of my body with her paws. For 7 years it was random, various parts of my body. Then for about 6 months she started to focus on one spot on my chest. At first I chalked it up to her wanting to be closer to my face, but after a couple months I noticed that the spot she was focused on had become very tender. Then I felt a small lump in that spot. Due to my (relatively young age), it took me a couple of months to convince one of my doctors that it was a potential issue, but eventually I got tested and had a pretty giant tumor in that spot (plus other tumors elsewhere).

Yes, kitty got lots of cuddles, wet food, and Greenies as a thank you.

Image credits: plum_awe


I was 17, getting ready for spring break back in 2010. Was making plans with my boyfriend on the phone because we were going to take his brothers to the zoo in a different city.

Literally in seconds there's this big translucent blind spot in my eye that is orange. I can see dark shapes behind it but it's super blurry.

I figured I would just go to the eye doctor before I left the next day, but my sister (who actually works for the cancer center in my city) told me that I should go to the hospital because anything weird with your vision can be super serious.

After 36 hours of Emergency waits, driving to specialists, they finally admitted me to the eye ward for a bacterial infection. Then they took my blood for a routine blood test.

Within an hour or so (as I was getting ready to sleep) a doctor and nurse come in. The nurse has a box of tissues. The doctor told me my "blood is leukemic" to which I asked "okay, can I treat that?" He was extremely unclear on what was happening, I was 17, my family had already left, and I had no idea about any cancers.

I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and started chemo that night after being transfered to a different hospital. They did a bone marrow biopsy the next morning and then sent it to a genetic lab in another province. When the test results came back they changed my diagnosis to Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia in the Blast Phase Crisis (final stage) that was caused by the Philadelphia Chromosome - where chromosomes 9 and 22 switch places and causes a mutation in my red blood cells. Told me I was the youngest person in the world with it, as CML usually takes a very long time to progress and the final stage doesn't show until around 65 years of age. That change in diagnosis changed my timeline. They had originally said 6 months to a year untreated, but now it was 1-3 months if I didn't get a stem cell transplant or bone marrow transplant.

All this because I had blood clots happening all over my body because of the abnormalities of my red blood cell shapes - and the one in my eye presented itself in my vision since the vessels are so small.

Edit - I guess I never finished off, I just celebrated 10 years in remission on June 17th this year and I'm healthy. My sister ended up being a 10/10 DNA marker match and I was able to get a stem cell transplant on June 17th, 2010. Still immunocompromised and taking Dasatinib everyday (chemo pill), but able to live my life. Covid has been really worrisome for me, but I'm just trying to be as careful as possible. Thanks for all the comments!

And p.s. I'm a female! The boyfriend was extremely supportive for a teenager and we were together for 7 years before we parted ways mutually.

Image credits: 2468timetoinebriate


My brother was 11 when he started experiencing symptoms. He started losing a lot of weight, and when he was playing soccer it looked like he was running through mud and couldn’t keep up with everyone else. My parents took him to the pediatrician and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong. One day, he woke up and couldn’t stop throwing up. When he tried to run to the bathroom, he kept running into the door frame and couldn’t walk straight. He said the lights were giving him a headache. We took him to the emergency room and they found that he had a brain tumor, and had emergency brain surgery the next day. We were extremely lucky that they decided to do a CAT scan at the ER, apparently they don’t usually do them on kids.
Two brain surgeries and a year and a half of chemo later, and he is in remission now!

Image credits: malsteve


I was fooling around in a mall as a kid. So My dad grabbed me by the neck to make me behave. He felt a lump on my neck and immediately began to get nervous. We went to the doctor the next day, caught the cancer before it spread and was able to surgically remove it about a month later. Got super lucky.

Image credits: SockFeetLover


My self diagnosed IBS was actually a tumor and it hemoraged. Stage 4 Rectal cancer. I beat that but it is in my liver now too big to operate. I am living my best life while I can!

Image credits: FlamingoRock


My dad was acting strange. He looked disheveled somewhat and was telling the same stories. Well he's 86, that can come with age. But he was also swerving on the road driving and he called me one day to take him to his doctor. Long story short, stage 4 GBM; brain cancer. Had surgery, was ok for a couple of months but was gone a couple months after that. Good part was, had had no pain and didn't suffer.

Edit: Thank you!

Image credits: turkourjurbs


I was about 12 and I noticed a gray spot in my left eye so I went to the eye doctor it turned out to be retinoblastoma. And fastfoward about 1 week I had my eye removed and started chemo. And now have a glass eye that has to get redone every 2 years until I was 16

Image credits: spot9707


Well, I have a benign brain tumour which was diagnosed due to double vision and really bad headaches. I also have had a mild hand tremor for ages.

I had radiotherapy 11 years ago and now I have been diagnosed with a low grade parotid cancer which is a lump on my neck. Soon going to be having radiotherapy for that.

Edit: the doctors have decided on proton beam therapy for me.

Image credits: kishenoy


Brother started forgetting words even while looking at object, could not say them. Could write them or even describe all parts of object but not name like shoe laces. Soon lost peripheral vision even before he could get to his primary doctor. All that within just 3 weeks.

Diagnosed with glioblastoma in February and died in June.

Image credits: goddessgaga


I was four, I didn’t want to be a bother to anyone so I tried as best as possible to hide the pain in my leg. My pre-k teacher noticed I was limping and told my parents about it. I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and had my left leg amputated through the knee. This October will be 16 years since I ended treatment!

Image credits: Bigsby004


Had a friend who pulled her back, did it camping. She just couldn't pinpoint exactly how or when. She dealt with it for a month and finally after Thanksgiving decided to go to the doctor to see if they could help.

Pancreatic cancer, she passed away 45 days later.

Fast forward 10 years, my sisters boyfriend pulled his back. He did pool and pest control work so he figured he just lifted wrong. After a few weeks I reminded my sister of our friend and pancreatic cancer. She finally convinced him to go get it looked at.

He passed away a little less than 3 months later.

Image credits: JohnnyBrillcream


Testicular Cancer survivor here. I had a dull pain one day in my right testicle. Didn't think much of it. I then took a shower and my ball felt different, it wasn't smooth. I just felt that something was different. I went to my doctor and asked him to check them to make sure things were normal. He did the check and didn't think things felt off but ordered an ultrasound anyway. I went and did the ultrasound, and I didn't hear what they found. They just asked me to go back for another ultrasound. The next day I got told I had to go to the hospital to see the urologist. Within minutes of meeting the doctor, he told me I had testicular cancer and was having surgery that night. It happened so fast. I caught mine early. Now I tell everyone to feel your balls and know your normal.

Image credits: TheWorldEndsTonight


Dry patch of skin on my forehead wouldn't stop scabbing and then bleeding. Decided that was because I couldn't stop picking it. Ignored it for 5 years because I'm 1) That afraid of doctors and 2) That incredibly stupid.

Decided to leave it alone for ten days and let it heal. It didn't. Finally got sick of worrying about it being basal cell carcinoma and went and got diagnosed. Basal cell carcinoma. It was dealt with pretty easily but don't be like me.

Image credits: beaupepys


My head and neck area became very swollen. At first I thought I was just getting fat, so I worked out a lot and ate better. This did not help. I also went to a local clinic and they thought it might be an allergic reaction and gave me steroids, which also didn’t help. The thing that finally made me go to the emergency room and not leave until I had an answer is that I started to develop unexplained bruises on my chest.

Turns out I had a huge tumor in my chest which had grown around my heart and was compressing the superior vena cava so blood couldn’t flow back down from my head. Not great!

The good news is that it turned out to be very treatable and I’ve been cancer free for 11 years now.

Image credits: eskimospy212


Had a different type of discharge down south. Cervical cancer - early stages. Had a big chunk of my cervix cut out, get annual PAP smears no matter what and am hyper vigilant of any changes down south.

Have your kids get the HPV vaccine, trust me.

Image credits: Dorfalicious


My 33 year old husband was diagnosed with inoperable glioblastoma (most aggressive brain cancer) in January 2019, when he was 31. What caused him to get a check, was persistent headache that didn’t go away with paracetamols and sleep. We discovered the tumours after taking an MRI.

Needless to say, our lives were changed forever. Now we are at the end of our journey, and it’s been a harrowing experience for me as his wife and caregiver. It’s a lonely journey. I don’t wish it upon anyone and no one has any idea what glioblastoma is like, unless they have gone through it. The median survival time is 14-18 months. We are on our 18th month now.. and given days/ weeks left. Every day is a gift, and I’m glad I get to be holding his hands every day, even if he’s resting and sleeping most of the time. As long as he is not in pain, and that the morphine patches are working, that is fine by me... I can’t handle him going through anymore pain.

Edit: Thank you so much for sharing your stories, giving me strength and support, and I’m so blessed to even be receiving all of your kindness. It’s such a touchy subject and I’m hurt all the time, but you guys being so kind, really makes me cry happy tears. I’m so touched. I don’t know how to describe it but I feel a little bit lifted. And that’s more than I can ask for, from the Internet. My husband, Viktor, would have been so grateful, to know that he is loved and supported by more people than he thought he was. Thank you. ❤️

Edit (2nd Aug): Viktor has passed away yesterday, on 1st August, 7.43pm Swedish time. He was surrounded by his brother and me and smiled a lot to the very end. At his final resting position, his face looked relaxed and a little smile can be seen by us too. I am still in shock, processing what has happened to us. I’ll take the time I need to process this and grieve. I just miss my husband. I miss his laughs. I miss his smile. I feel loved. I know I’m loved. So that’s keeping me together. Thank you so much for your kind support even though we are strangers on the Internet. I am both saddened and moved by the generosity of others to offer support, love and to bare their personal pain related to GBM/cancer/loss in general.

Thank you. May Viktor find peace. I know he’s not in pain now.

Image credits: syarkbait


PSA: unintended weight loss or finding blood where you normally wouldn't. Get yourself to a doctor.

Image credits: triple_threattt


A runny nose:

My father always had allergies. But the severity of his runny nose reached a point where he went from doctor to doctor trying to figure out what was going on. It wasn't until the 7th doctor when he was finally referred for a [spinal tap procedure ](https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/lumbar-puncture/about/pac-20394631#:~:text=tap%20(lumbar%20puncture)-,Spinal%20tap%20(lumbar%20puncture),collect%20cerebrospinal%20fluid%20for%20testing.) to determine if his runny nose was actually a [CSF leakage](https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/neurology_neurosurgery/centers_clinics/brain_tumor/center/skull-base/types/csf-leak.html#:~:text=A%20CSF%20leak%20is%20a,and%20brain%20or%20sinus%20surgery.).

Night after the procedure, we almost lost him. He had developed meningitis. Spent several days in the hospital. They didnt know if it was [viral](https://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/viral.html) or [bacterial](https://www.cdc.gov/meningitis/bacterial.html). Some days they made us wear a full cover-up while others we could hold on to him without a face mask even. He recovered and now we wait for his results.

Turns out it was a CSF leakage. The surgery to fix that was scheduled right away. He had the surgery and my mother and I waited to be called to see him. While he was still out, the doctor came to my mother and I and told us she found something near his pituitary gland. A small growth. She said she scraped some off and sent it to the lab. When those results came back, we found out he had [chordoma](https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/chordoma#:~:text=A%20chordoma%20is%20a%20rare,and%20soft%20tissue%20around%20them.), a type of brain cancer.

Edit: Link


Had a hard small knob on the left side of my neck and I jokingly said to my friends "Haha I bet it's cancer". Well, yeah indeed it was.

Image credits: PhanAtom


I felt a pop in my back. It was actually a vertebra breaking. I had severe pain after, and was later diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer. That was five years ago, and today I am in remission.

Image credits: International37


Trigger warning:
Sex and Blood.

Cervix cancer. A couple of times during sex blood would just randomly pour out of me. Nowhere near my time of month and no pain. Turns out that is one of the warning signs.
Three surgeries later I have had my cervix (the mouth og the uterus) removed completely, bit by bit. They tried taking only what they had to, as lack of a cervix makes impregnation and carrying to term harder, but it kept reappearing. I Hope it's done now.

Edit. A lot of women (and other concerned people) have been asking me stuff so here are the most common questions answered.
Keep in mind that English is not my first language and that I am NOT a medically trained person.

- It was during sex. He pulled out and it followed.
- It looked like a quarter of a cup. It was enough to literally pour out of me and it pooled on the sheets.
- Light spotting or a few drops of blood during sex is probably just due to chafing of the fragile tissue in the vagina. No biggie. A lot of blood like this or even just enough to coat your partners member is cause for worry. Do check your schedule, though. He may just have kick started your period.
- It was not my period. It was nowhere near that time of the month and I - in any case - never bleed that much or all at once. THe blood was also fresh with no clots, like a nosebleed.
- If at any point, during or outside of sex, blood starts randomly pouring out of ANY orifice (not just the vagoo) get it looked at. Even if it stops on its own. It is not a normal reaction. (Comments on knife-play not appreciated).
- I was 26 years old when this happened and it was relatively short time after having a scheduled pap smear (maybe 6 months?).
- I had previously been treated for genital warts (thanks a bunch Kenneth!) and have a low resistance to any wart-related vira, including the HPV virus which can trigger cell anomalies in the cervix.
- I have since gotten the HPV vaccine, since even if I have already had this s**t, it will strengthen the immune system. Apart from dizzyness and a slight fever, I had no side effects from the vaccine, and I REALLY REALLY recommend getting it. Mand, woman, all benefits. (You can carry and infect women with HPV as a male). And for the love of Gods: Get your kids vaccinated!!
- The procedure is called a LEEP (Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure). These are done when you have localized cancer cells on the cervix and just removes the area with the abnormal cells. When the cancer is a higher stage, a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus), and/or chemotherapy with radiation are the usual courses of treatment.
- Side/after effects of LEEP were very slight. I was sore and not allowed to swim, do heavy lifting or have sex for 4 weeks. That was it.
- You can still get pregnant without a cervix, it is just harder because it isn't there to "funnel" in the sperm. You also have a greater risk of not carrying to term, but there are procedures to help with that.

If you want more info on this type of cancer, go to Jo's trust:

Image credits: TheDanishThede


This might sound really really strange, but I felt "high" all the time. Like I was detached from reality. Hard to put into words. Went in, found a tumor, hodgkins & non-hodgkins at the same time.

Image credits: MechRxn


I had what I thought was a stroke and found out I have a Glioblastoma. I was given 12-15 months and so far I’ve made it to the 15th month!

Image credits: ComptonTLurks


I feel I must answer this question. I had signs of cancer for about a year before it was discovered. But my signs were not obvious. I had a backache that responded to massive doses of ibuprofen, so it went on for awhile. I had been to the doctor on numerous occasions, and was treated as a sort of neurotic, middle aged lady with aches and pains. I was treated for fibromyalgia (meds made me nutty), told to get massages, given cortisone shots in the knotty muscles on my back, etc. My husband finally accompanied me and demanded they do some blood work because he could tell this wasn’t normal “aches and pains”. Very telling blood work was done, but ignored, probably because the doc saw no emergency. I was finally referred to another doc who did more blood work, then left town. I was begging for results to no avail. I became weaker and could not go to work. I became feverish and was at last crawling back and forth to the bathroom to get in a tub of cold water. Finally, my husband said, “We’re going to the emergency room.”

When I finally got in to see the doctors in the ER, they looked me up and down and asked questions . . I meekly offered that there had been some recent blood work done, if that would help. They looked it up, and immediately I was put into a room and given I’m not sure how many units of blood. I was nearly bloodless!!

After a week of extensive testing (bone marrow test, MRI, and continual blood monitoring,) a mass showed up on a CT scan. I had a softball sized tumor growing behind my esophagus, and it was bleeding into my stomach and being digested as a rare steak would be. That’s why I never saw blood in my stool. The doc who never paid attention to my blood work in the first place came in and prescribed me huge bottles of vicodin. Needless to say, I never asked for her services again.

I had a huge surgery, removing my stomach, much of my esophagus, my spleen, an adrenal gland and part of my pancreas. The surgeon wanted to go higher up on my esophagus, but if he did, I would never be able to swallow, and would have to have a feeding tube. But that didn’t matter, because they only gave me a couple of months to live. My husband said no to this, and asked the surgeon, “Why not take our chances with chemo and see if that works?”

Thank God they did, because 8 years later, here I am. I didn’t die. And I can eat almost anything!

There is much more to this story, but I am here to say that the cancer symptoms were not at all obvious. I had never had heartburn or reflux - never smoked - but yet the tumor was in my esophagus. It had wrapped its tentacles around my spine, and that is what was causing the tremendous back pain all those months. Massages and cortisone shots did not quite cut it as cures for a large cancerous tumor. The pain after surgery was immense, but I never had that awful back pain again!

I would say having somewhat regular blood work is probably the best way to find out if there is an unusual imbalance - that is what (FINALLY) exposed my cancer.

I would add, since seeing a somewhat disbelieving comment on my answer, that yes, it is entirely possible to digest food without a stomach. And although I do believe smoking can cause cancer in some cases I in no way intended to bash any smokers but simply mentioned this because esophageal cancer is often linked to smoking.

Thank you for all the comments. I hope this has encouraged someone. I know when I was told I only had a short time to live, hearing stories of survival greatly encouraged me.

Image credits: LeahLWiedermann


My sister noticed a small painful lump in her breast shortly after having her second child. Doctor diagnosed a blocked mammary gland. A couple weeks later it still wasn’t gone. Again doc said blocked gland. Months later it’s still not gone and she insists on getting a second opinion. Stage 3 breast cancer. Double mastectomy immediately followed by months of agonizing radiation and chemo only to find out it’s now stage four. She’s been stable for a few years but now it’s spreading again and we don’t know how long we have w her. Trying to be as positive as possible.

Image credits: KidGorgeous19


My Nana.

She had very loose bowel movements, which had caused her to get dehydrated. Her levels for electrolytes were way out of normal range. She later found out that she had a cancerous mass on her ovaries. They caught it in time and she went through surgery and chemotherapy. Everything is fine now.

Image credits: anon


My dad thought he had the flu & went to urgent care, by the end of the weekend he had started chemotherapy. He had acute myeloid leukemia, made it 6 years though so not bad

Image credits: DuelOstrich


I was diagnosed at 43. For two years my gynecologist insisted that I get a mammogram as part of turning 40. I am very small chested so I thought it was a complete waste of time. In February 2013 I promised my doctor that I would get a mammogram before my next annual appointment. I was diagnosed in February 2014. Stage 2 breast cancer. There was absolutely no signs or indication. No family history. All the way up to the pathology results from the biopsy, I thought it was all a complete waste of time and money. The results came back positive.

Image credits: Austnrock


Unbearable stomach pain in the middle of the night at 32
24 hours later a 15cm cyst was found in my right ovary
6 weeks later I was told it was ovarian cancer
20 days later I had a complete hysterectomy

I'm 34, in menopause, cured and very lucky. Thank you NHS

Image credits: RollerDerbyWhore


Seizures. I got seizures out of nowhere during the night. No history of seizures in my family. Got my head screened and they found what they thought to be a benign tumor.

Anaplastic Astrocytoma, diagnosed two months before my 22nd birthday.

Nearing the 5-year mark, though, with no evidence of it returning!

Image credits: Gigginold


I turned my head and noticed a giant lump on my neck in the mirror. It didn’t hurt at all, and I hadn’t noticed it before. I went to my doctor the next day and BAM! Lymphoma. That was 6 years ago, so now I’m officially considered cured :)


Broken back, cancer had eaten away into the bones and weakened spine.


My mother began having numbness in her hand and that became more frequent and it lead to loss of control. She was a heavy smoker and always coughed but apparently the cancer started in her lungs.

My aunt had chronic pneumonia and then they realized she had cancer too this was 7 years later and they were identical twins. Both smoked. My mother was also a drug (speed)user though.

My cousin had throat cancer and that was diagnosed pretty early and she beat it. She was having recurring throat infections and loss of voice.. But cancer disqualifies you from organ transplants

They all lived in the same house. I am now selling that house.


I had pneumonia, and routine blood work after I recovered showed my white counts never came down and were getting higher and higher. Sure sign of my kind of Leukemia (CML).


I was rubbing my thigh with my hands after exercise and I felt a hard, painless lump the size of a big jelly bean about 5cm deep under my skin. I felt around in the same spot on the opposite leg and didn't find another one, so I went to the doctor.

A bunch of scans later, I was diagnosed with myxoid sarcoma. It turned out to be a misdiagnosis as the tumour ended up being benign, but I still needed surgery and the nerves in my leg got f****d up.

Tldr; if something about your body feels off, get it checked out! If my tumour had of been cancer, my prognosis still would have been very good because I noticed it when it was still small.


I had a biggish mole on my chest, GF made me go to the doctors to get it checked out. Turned out to be malignant melanoma.

If it wasn’t for her persistence I would probably be dead now, I thought she was way overreacting and I don’t like going to the doctors.

Edit: it was 7 years ago now


2 of my friends, both of their partners had huge appetites, built like rugby players, loads of energy, always on the go. They both had a sudden loss of appetite, became really lethargic and didn't poop for more than 7 days. Bowel cancer. Both died within six months of diagnosis.

If something is out of the ordinary, don't ignore it thinking it'll go away. Get yourself checked out, that's what the doctor is there for.


I had a white patch on the left side of my tongue. I do not smoke or chew tobacco. As soon as the hygienist saw it and I saw her face, I new it was trouble. It was cancer and something I have to monitor all the time now. Every sore on my tongue or in my mouth is a cause for concern. Had one biopsy and two surgeries to remove it all. No chemo or radiation. Down side was the spots kept coming back, hence the two surgeries. THC and CBD oil was recommended to me. That was two years ago and I haven’t had a spot since. Yay.


Nothing. I got my first routine mammogram because I was 42. I had zero signs.

The mammogram caught the very early stages of an aggressive breast cancer caused by the ATM gene which is common to people of Norwegian ancestry. I have a tiny sliver of Norwegian. No family history of cancer, breast or otherwise, except the occasional skin damage-sort.

If I’d gotten the mammogram two weeks earlier, nothing would have been visible. I’d have waited until next year’s mammogram which would have revealed a metastasized, likely fatal breast cancer.

I had my mammogram in August, my biopsy to confirm it in October (at which point the two little dots had turned into two clusters), bilateral mastectomy in December, and I went back into the classroom in the first week of January. Because of the timing, I did not need any chemo, preventive meds, or treatment beyond the mastectomy.

And that was my first and last mammogram!


I was 15 when I started having super sharp, terrible pain in my ankle whenever something touched it, which sucked because I was really into martial arts. Would be training, then hit it with my other foot or something and just drop, couldn’t walk for minutes. Lived with it for probably a year or more, going to doctors who said it was a bad growth plate, or all in my head, or some other similar b******t.

After lots of scans over time they figure that it’s a “nerve cluster” in there, so I have surgery to take it out. The whole ordeal almost ended there, but a university asked for a sample and they determined that instead of a nerve cluster, it was a sarcoma (soft tissue tumor), and the first surgery had just spread it around.

After consulting with a few doctors near home who said they’d have to take my foot, or I’d lose most function and just limp for the rest of my life, we went to MD Anderson who said they could fix it.

They had to cut out my tendon and most of the flesh in the area, replacing it with a cadaver tendon and muscle from my thigh, with a graft of skin from my thigh. Then it got a blood clot and started to die, so they took a blood vessel from my other ankle to replace the clotted one, and redid the graft with skin from my other thigh too.

Totally clean since, just had my 5 year checkup last week!


Seizures in my sleep. Had been living a very healthy lifestyle while in my first year of law school and then all of a sudden I started getting seizures in my sleep. I immediately went to my primary care and was sent to the hospital for scans. Results came back the same day and was told to go to the neurologist ASAP and that’s when I was told about the tumor growing in my brain.
Edit: I’d like to add that I’d had migraines since I was like 17, but my GP told me it was probably because of periods since that was usually the case with women. It wasn’t until I had my first gran mal seizure that he took things seriously. IF YOU HAVE CHRONIC MIGRAINES, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD SUGGEST AN MRI. Just to rule out whether it’s a tumor or not.


Well technically I had a number of symptoms that I didnt catch on to including shortness of breath, swollen lymph nodes, lethargy, extreme weight loss, and night sweats. I didn't really start to pay attention until I started to vomit every night and it all culminated one night when I went to puke in the middle of the night and ended up losing vision for almost a full minute. I went into my universitys medical center and later down the road the nurse who helped diagnose me actually told me that she knew just looking at me that something was seriously wrong. I was fully diagnosed with hodgkins lymphoma within 2 days and started chemotherapy next week


I'm just dropping in to see how f****d this will make my anxiety.

Bad, apparently.


Grandmother 1 suddenly developed a lot of pain, seemingly from nowhere. She also felt completely drained of energy. Went to the doctor and was soon diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She died 2 months later.

Grandmother 2 started experiencing tummy issues. Pain, cramps, upset stomach, painful and foul smelling gas. Turned out to be bowel cancer. Had it surgically removed and has been in remission for about 15 years now. She has since been diagnosed with IBS though, and because some symptoms match the symptoms she experienced with the cancer, she is so scared that it’s come back. Goes to see several specialists a year on her own insistence because of anxiety about recurrence. Her IBS would be better if she didn’t insist on loading up with every type of fibre there is, but she’s so scared of dying now that she insists on eating 10 types of fibre and 50 pieces of fruit and veg every day. This makes her IBS flare up which triggers her anxiety which makes her eat “healthier” etc. Vicious cycle.

Grandfather experienced some clotting issues, bruising etc, was diagnosed with a type of Leukaemia that was very non-malevolent, it posed no real danger. Then a year later he developed pneumonia and the antibiotics he was given for it wouldn’t work somehow because of the leukaemia. He died about a week later.

All but 1 grandparent have had some type of cancer so I’m not all that optimistic about dodging that bullet myself. Only time will tell, I guess.


My dad came back from a family holiday with me and my mum in Feb 2020 from somewhere cold (Northern Europe during winter) and just wouldn’t stop coughing. We just assumed it was a horrible fever and kept treating it with hot water with lemon and honey... but we’d booked an appointment with his GP as soon as we’d landed, but that wasn’t for another two weeks.

At his GP appointment he was diagnosed with a viral infection and given a week’s antibiotics. His viral infection wouldn’t go though, no matter how many antibiotics he was prescribed. His GP prescribed the same set again, and we called 111 once to be prescribed a different set. Nothing.

One night it got so bad that mum and I called 999. Since it was a “non life threatening” call, the ambulance said they’d be 40-60 minutes. In that time, dad stopped coughing as much and told us he felt okay, asked to cancel the ambulance and that just wanted to go to sleep.

I said f**k no, let the ambulance get here and let the people with medical degrees and training decide if you get to go to bed or not.

They arrived - a senior paramedic we’ll call Joe (late 30s, friendly) and a junior paramedic we’ll call Sarah.

They both do standard tests, an ECG and a review of his meds (antibiotics). Joe asks Sarah for her opinion (presumably for her training) and she says he seems fine, the swelling at his glands is reasonable and in line with a viral infection.

Joe says, “Well look, it got so bad that you all felt the need to call 999. I don’t like that at all, and despite not seeing any evidence myself, I want to drive him to A&E and get a blood test done.”

So I drove behind an ambulance at 11pm to sit with my dad as he got his blood test done. Blood report comes back at 4am, all normal, we go home.

Next day, hospital calls and asks us to come in ASAP. Turns out it’s Acute Leukaemia.

Dad’s still going through chemotherapy but he’s doing great, and we’ve got our fare share of hurdles but damn if he isn’t a fighter and a fantastic role model. We’re now talking about marrow donation and final stages of treatment.

But god damn, that paramedic Joe made the right call. Thanks Joe - if you hadn’t trusted us, I might be telling a much sadder story.


I was 8 when I got Leukaemia (21 now), the first unusual thing was that I was constantly tired. I’d just come home and lie down on the couch and wouldn’t have energy for anything. My mom was just alarmed as I was a lively child but she first brushed it off as school and autumn moods exhausting me.

And then I started getting red spots on my skin. Not breakouts, just red dots appearing right under my skin.

First on my face, then on my neck, eventually they spread down to my chest. It happened within days and thankfully my mom called my grandmother, who’s a cardiologist, and who ordered my parents to take me to a doctor.

Other doctors could’ve said it was a skin allergy breakout (I suffered from skin allergies before that) but this one noticed the signs, ordered extensive blood tests and then got me transferred to the haematology hospital within an hour.

I still remember how I tried to be brave when they were taking my blood and how proud I was that I was calm through that whole evening.

And that was the start of over a year of hospital life.

If my mom hadn’t called my grandmother, If she then wouldn’t order my parents to take me to the hospital, if that doctor then would dismiss the signs (which are not at all common with leukaemia) I would’ve been gone within a week, maybe two. If I came there days, hours later, I would’ve been beyond saving.

But in the end, 8/9yo me was happy to be allowed to spend whole days in bed playing the Sims 2 and that’s what I choose to remember from that time.

I’d also like to say that my parants are amazing people who made sure to spend every moment they could with me, all the while working to support us (not all the meds etc were available through the local NHS) and they made this hard time so much easier for me.

TLDR; I was 8yo, was tired all the time, had red spots on the skin, was very lucky that came to the hospital quickly and wasn’t dismissed as an allergy, or I would’ve been dead in a week.


My dad went to the ER after a big bump had formed on his neck overnight. He was prescribed sever rash medication but went back after nothing had worked. Everyone, even the doctors thought it had been an allergic reaction or some kind of rash but after testing for other causes, they found that he had had hodgkins lymphoma and a six inch mass in his chest. It has be over a year, he has finished treatment, and the cancer shows no sign of returning.

Edit: Thank you all so much for all the kind words and support!


Super heavy periods that would last for 10 or more days. Got an iud to help control bleeding. Actually hemorrhaged so bad the iud came out. Endometrial Cancer, huge tumor in my uterus. Ladies, it's not normal to need a tampon and pad at the same time. It's not normal to need to change them every 10 minutes or even every hour. An average period is 2-3 Tablespoons, just for reference. Sorry if TMI.

Edited to add:
Thank you for the well wishes, I am one year NED (no evidence of disease). I was diagnosed at 40.
I wish I could respond to everyone. The main take away is if something is not right, keep looking for answers and the right physician.
Heavy periods do not usually mean cancer in pre menopausal women, but there is no reason to suffer through them.
Post menopausal women should not experience any bleeding, one drop and you should go to the doctor right away.


I had childhood leukemia. When I was about 10 both of my knees started to hurt progressively more and more to the point where I was limping around. I also couldn't catch my breath. I remember this one lunch lady at school giving me s**t for "being slow" walking up some stairs and I just didn't know what to tell her because I couldn't go any faster. I went to the doctor once and they said I sprained my knees (I played soccer so it wasn't impossible). But they never got better. So I went back and they decided to take some blood tests just in case. Thankfully they did because it turns out my red blood cells were 1/3 what they were supposed to be, hence why I couldn't heal and I couldn't get enough oxygen, ever.

That was 20 years ago now and I got lucky, I didn't relapse. I had friends who did, and didn't make it. Idk. Kinda a personal story that I don't talk about much.

Edit: a lot of people have seen this and shared some great, oddly similar stories. Hope everyone is taking care of themselves. But to answer a recurring question: I never did see that lunch lady again, she was gone (unrelated reasons) by the time I went back to school.

Another edit: I also don't blame my pediatrician for not catching it sooner, and I did end up having an incredible medical team providing treatment for me every step of the way.


Last year (March 2019) I (male, 35) woke up in the morning to go to the toilet. I was urinating pure, thick blood with little lumps in it. So after a severe panic attack it began to hurt like hell. I was throwing up from the pain. After a day in the hospital en some scans en tests later, they told me to call my parents. So you know you're getting some bad news. It turns out it was kidney cancer. They removed my right kidney, fortunately no other treatments were needed, and I'm living the best life right now. If the tumor in my kidney didn't started to bleed I would have found out much much later, probably to late.


My dad was in bed one night and said he felt like he was drowning then began coughing up blood.


Back in 2017, I had been having back pain for several months. I finally went to urgent care one day when the pain was unbearable. They sent me immediately to the ER. I was admitted to the hospital and was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. It had spread to my liver and bones. My life completely changed that day. When faced with dying, I realized that I wanted to live. Before this, I had my suicide completely planned out. I feel like things happen for a reason and things work out the way they are supposed to. I'm a new person today. I spend every day fighting for a life that I wanted to throw away.


My brother, age 24, had *a pain in his lower back* so went to the chiropractor. Didn't help so he went to a real doctor. "Cancerous tumor is blocking the spinal cord, you have less than a year to live."

Anyway, my brother lived three years more but the last one was in bed.


Most of the patients I've seen had some weird gradual symptom(s) onset that they either ignored or just assumed was normal (or at least their "normal"). Fatigue despite not changing much in their life. Weight loss that was attributed to "I'm never really hungry anyways". Weird headaches. Changing bowel habits (pencil-thin stool, blood in stool, etc).

Moral of the story is don't ignore chronic symptoms, please see your doc.


My father-in-law (65 or something) has been feeling lethargic over the years. A month ago he felt the left side of his body weaken and then it’d intermittently go numb. MRI and found tumour on the right side of his brain. Cancerous and aggressive. Removed some in a successful brain surgery. He has between 6 months and 3 years to live. Doesn’t help that he has kidney and heart issues as well.


I was in a drum line in middle school and we used to do this thing with the drum sticks to sting one and other. This kid got me real good on my shoulder blade, and it caused an irritated growth. Doctor told us that it wouldn't go away on its own and would have to be removed. While in surgery to have it biopsy, my mom pointed out another bump on my back, and asked the surgeon if it was the same thing, he replied no, and that it was fine. My mom insisted, asking him to remove it just incase so we wouldn't have to come back and he did. The second biopsy got infected and I had to go on antibiotics, unknown at the time, the antibiotic prescribed to me I was allergic to which did not have a good result. Got a call back for a results appointment that just happened to be on my 14th birthday. The surgeon never looked at me or said happy birthday, he just read the results and said sorry before leaving, it was scale 4 malignant melanoma.


A lump in my boob I found accidently in the shower. Nothing else, just the lump. I was fortunate I found it. I was in my early 30's and breastfeeding my second child. Statistically it shouldn't have been me.

I'm 5 years from diagnosis and my current status is NED (no evidence of disease) which is the best you can hope for.

Check your boobs. Do it regularly. And go to you Dr if you find anything you aren't sure about.


My dad had a nipple pulling in that he knew about for "several months" before mentioning to anyone. He now thinks it may have been a year before he actually mentioned it to my mom, who demanded he see a doctor about it immediately. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 Breast Cancer. After chemo, a double mastectomy, and radiation, he is in remission.

I would be remiss if I didn't include this on his behalf: male breast cancer is not as uncommon as you think it is. Pay attention to any changes in your body and get yourself checked out.


Severe pain. I was 12 years old and woke up screaming and crying from the pain. Swiftly passed out right after. It felt like a knife had stabbed into my side and was just twisting over and over again. I had already had cancer once before so my family took me to get an MRI right after I went to school, and they saw a stomach tumor and immediately had me go to the hospital to have it surgically removed.


My wife felt a lump in her armpit. The doctor was not concerned, but wifey insisted they check it out. The ultrasound was concerning enough that they did an immediate biopsy, which came back as metastatic breast cancer that had invaded a lymph node, and had grown to the size of a golf ball. It appeared not to have spread any further (touch wood) so after surgery and chemo she is doing fine (touch more wood, 3.5 years and counting).

EDIT: I should add that she had clean mammograms, and they never found any evidence of cancer in her breast.

EDIT2: And a huge shout-out to the BC Cancer Agency, they were on top of it from the get go and quickly got her through treatment.


Well I have stage 4 lung Cancer, I', 35 years old. I found about it 14 months ago after getting a small cough. That's all. Had an X ray done, and it showed cancer growth all over my chest, and in my left lung.

I have a few more months to live if I am lucky, treatments are no longer having any effect.

My advice, don't stress about it. I'm really unlucky and unless you're like me you will be fine.


Peeing out what appeared to be a pint of blood, completely painlessly. It was bladder cancer.

Still took me 2 years until I got a diagnosis. Every time it happened, I'd go to the clinic and by the time I got there, I was peeing clear again, with only trace amounts of blood. They'd give me antibiotics for a UTI and send me on my way.

Turns out, "painless gross hematuria" (peeing out A LOT of blood, with zero pain) is almost ALWAYS a sign of bladder cancer. As the tumors grow, they bleed, but the bladder heals (or rather, the tumors heal) incredibly quickly, so by the time you give a urine sample, it's over. And it doesn't happen constantly, just once every few weeks or months.

Finally I caught it mid-stream, and ran to the clinic with a full bladder. I remember feeling so triumphant when they asked me to pee in a cup and I handed over a full cup of blood. I also remember the nurse's face. It was a student clinic, and I was a 21 year old woman. 21 year old women don't get bladder cancer, but I did. They got me a referral to a urologist within a couple days. They did a cystoscopy (scope in through the urethra to look at the inside of the bladder) and found 8 tumors.

I've since found other women on the internet that had the same experience.

I've also since had a UTI, years after bladder cancer. UTIs hurt REALLY BAD, and if there's blood, it's only a tiny bit. Ridiculous that they just thought I was exaggerating the blood...but somehow ignoring the pain?

Tl;dr, if you ever pee out what appears to be straight blood and feel zero pain, don't let them tell you it's just a UTI. You probably have bladder cancer. Demand a referral to a urologist and get a cystoscopy.

ETA: I forgot that they also kept insisting that it must have been my period, and I was just confused. Nevermind the fact that I wasn't on my period, and it's fairly easy to tell if blood is coming from your vagina or your urethra.


Stage IV colon cancer here. Edit: I’m under 40, so the diagnosis was unexpected.

Episodes of intense pain/cramping accompanying a feeling like I needed to “go number two” were what made me get checked out. I sat on the toilet for about an hour, experiencing waves of pain, before a small amount of stool worked its way out of me. The first and second times this happened, I (mistakenly) thought I had overeaten the day before, and those two experiences led me to change my diet. The *third* time it happened was the worst of the three, and I *knew* I hadn’t overeaten the day before. I went to the hospital to get checked out, suspecting IBS or Crohn’s.

A stool sample test showed tremendous inflammation—I forget the name of the test (edit: as /u/Zoykah pointed out, it was a test for calprotectin), but it measured inflammation by-product in the stool, and a rating of 0-50 meant there was no inflammation, up to 200 was iffy, and over 200 meant there was definitely inflammation... and my result was close to 5000. A follow-up colonoscopy discovered the tumor, and a biopsy of my lymph nodes (nearby nodes extracted in the surgery) indicated that the cancer had spread at least that far. A CT scan showed spots in my liver, which a subsequent MRI confirmed were cancerous.

It’s been just over a year since the initial tumor was cut out, along with a foot or so of my colon. I began chemo not long after that. I stopped chemo temporarily in the fall so that I could have another surgery for half my liver to be cut out. Then back on the chemo, which finished in early May.

I had a colonoscopy just this week that showed no signs of cancer growing in my colon, and an MRI a couple months after my liver surgery suggested that the surgery caught all of the cancer there as well. Fingers crossed that this doesn’t pop up again for many years.

It’s also worth noting that I had occasional blood in my stool, which I ignored. Don’t be a buffoon like me—if blood comes out of your butt, get that checked out.


My aunt is on her third stint of Leukemia. She normally has more energy than the rest of the room, always positive, always a smile. She had overall weakness and felt down for a month. They did a blood test and found her white blood counts all out of whack. Round three started a month ago and seeing her have a smile on her face is becoming rarer and rarer. F*** cancer.

Edit: spelling while emotional can be tough.


I was getting ready for work one morning when I saw a lump along my collarbone that moved when I touched it. Long story short, that was “the tip of the iceberg,” and I was diagnosed with Stage II Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, in my neck and chest, biggest one a “bulky” 8cm x 7cm x 15cm tumor in my chest.


My brother was 2 when he was diagnosed. It started with zero energy. Instead of playing or wanting to be outside or normal toddler high energy, he wanted to nap on the couch. Then he started throwing up because of smells from my stepmoms cooking. Eggs especially which used to be his fave. Then he was dizzy constantly and had a hard time walking which previously wasn’t a problem. The dizzy made him throw up more.

Stage 4 brain cancer. 2% chance of living.
Massive brain surgery and he’s 23 and still with us! His cognitive ability was severely affected due to tumor location so I’d say cognitively he’s more 13 then 23. He’ll never be able to drive a car or have kids but he’s happy and he’s the hardest working 23 year old I know.
It just sucks for him because he’s smart enough to know he’s different then peers his age but cognitively damaged enough that he can’t make himself fit in.


My Mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer. Since she has passed away, and I was the primary attendant, So I think I can share that.

She developed a wound in her tongue, that would not heal. went to a general physician, had some medicine. it got well, but then the swelling started, and with it, bleeding. The doctors suggested a biopsy. We had that. and it was diagnosed as cancer.

Then, she was referred to a cancer specialty hospital. A series of more comprehensive tests revealed it was at stage4. Chemotherapy started, and she could not survive it and passed away in a couple of years.


I went to my GP for blood in my stool but they didn't give me any examine and presumed it was a fissure (butt tear from straining), I also had side pain and again wasn't looked into and I had fatigue.

Doctors again didn't investigate they told me as I'm young (27) and I didn't have a family history that it wasn't a problem. One day I was at work, I had agony in my abdomen my manager said I was pale. Went A&E, was kept in overnight and turned out I have a very rare stage IV bowel cancer which has spread to elsewhere in my body.

Got my diagnosis a week later and was on the operating table to remove a large part of my colon the following Monday. Now on chemotherapy and tried to complain about my GP and they removed my review from their website (NHS choices).

EDIT : Hey, so chemo took it out of me after I posted this and yikes it's blown up - but I'm happy that in some way my comment may help others. Therefore I wanted to clear somethings up that have been asked both in comments and direct messages.

1) The amount of blood was probably about a teaspoon worth of fresh blood on top/partially incorporated into my stool and was happening everytime. The reason was I had two tumors inside my bowel, one at each end and as my stool was pushed through it I guess it knocked them causing the bleeding. The stool pushing against my tumors were the reason that I had the 'back pain'.

2) As a few of you have figured out I'm UK based and therefore left my review both of Google as well as the NHS Choices website and did receive a email when my review was taken down from NHS Choices which is a website specifically to review GPs and Hospitals. I've worked in a GP and the GP practice have the ability to remove the complaint. I received an email informing me of the review being taken down and a request to speak to the practise manager.
I was forced to leave that GP practice, as although I've moved closer to them and the hospital I'm being treated at they said I'm not in their area so I was forced to move GP by them despite moving closer. Before I left I also used the Patient Access app the NHS has and looked at my record and saw that my previous records at the GP did not record A LOT of information that we discussed on my record.

3) I've not pursued legal action, my diagnosis was almost a year ago now and as stated I underwent urgent surgery at that time, after recovering from surgery I was started on chemotherapy and have been having it for months with a welcome break at Christmas. I've have considered taking it further, my mum considered it when this all happened but it wasn't materialised. As per some comments I will investigate into this via legal advice subreddits as well as speaking to the CQC.

P.S. Thanks for the award kind stranger, hopefully it will make this be seen and help others who might be in a similar situation and make them get themselves checked out.


On Christmas Eve 2018, my Dad lost the ability to talk except for the phrase "this is crazy." Called paramedics because we thought he'd had a stroke. Got him to the hospital where the imaging showed a brain tumor on the outside edge of his brain. The swelling caused him to have a seizure. He was transferred to a bigger local hospital. They did full body scans because it's pretty rare to just have brain cancer- usually it's a secondary for another cancer site. We got lucky in that it was the sole spot. Went through a craniotomy and 5 rounds of high dose inpatient chemo, and he's one year in remission!

Thanks for the awards!


Okay, this is kind-of relevant I guess.

I had a cancer scare the other year. By which I mean I found a lump on my a**s.

Thinking it was a hemorrhoid, I got some cream and used that for a few weeks. Did nothing. So I went to the doctor and got a prescription for something better. Also did nothing.

So I went to be examined. Meaning the doctor stuck his finger up me.

He found the lump alright. But it wasn't a hemorrhoid.

Sent me for some scans and they confirmed a growth.

Did some tests and found I had no markers for cancer in my blood.

They figured it was a benign cyst of some kind and they could leave if there if I wanted. But as it was painful, I elected to have it surgically removed.

It was in fact a benign cyst.

And the recovery pain was worse than the pain I had in the first place.


Funnily enough, it was a totally unrelated lump.

"Nope, that lump is fine, just a lipoma. However, we found another lump in the corner of your xray and we need to biopsy it".


Dark stools and intermittent lower abdominal pain. Went to the doc and he said "colitis, just don't eat nuts and seeds." A couple days later it still hurt and I ended up seeing a nurse practitioner. She ordered blood work, an abdominal CAT scan, and a gastroenterologist consult. Two weeks later I had half my colon removed. Caught it fairly early so things are looking OK.


Uncontrolled weight loss. There were probably earlier signs but that was the one that made me finally go to have the situation sorted out.


This question hits too close to home for me. I am currently fighting stage IV rectal cancer that spread to my liver. I am a late 50's male that was too stupid and arrogant to go get checked or have a colonoscopy when the doctors said I should. I thought I knew my body better than they did. That naive attitude will probably end up costing me my life. My family is what forced me to finally act, but unfortunately, too late.

I have had digestive problems my entire life. Born with a faulty pyloric valve. Lousy eating habits, bad choices, lack of caring, have finally caught up with me. Everything has a price and the bill eventually comes due. I am paying now.

Three years ago, in addition to my normal struggles, I started seeing red blood on the toilet paper when I went to the bathroom. Not all the time so I kind of ignored it. It eventually started happening more often. I did not tell anyone or go to a doctor. I just ignored it. My family kept pushing me to get it checked. I finally relented.

In January 2019, I had a colonoscopy. When I woke up, the first words out of the doctor's mouth were, "I found something very concerning. This is not good." 4 polyps. He removed 3 but the fourth was too large and too close to my a**s. He took a bunch of biopsies. They all came back negative. Whew, or so I thought. It was recommended that I have it removed surgically so in March, I had surgery and had it taken out. The surgeon wanted to remove the lymph nodes as well (it is the only way to be sure) but I said no because that meant a colostomy. I was not ready for that. The biopsy from the surgery came back in late March 2019. Cancer. The dreaded C word. I was shocked but not surprised. I had brought this on myself. In some way, I deserved it.

Again, the surgeon recommended removing everything to be sure. I said no. The chances were not great but not zero so I opted for chemo and radiation to see if that would get it. 5 weeks of daily chemo and radiation in May 2019. That was tough and it took a pretty big toll on me but I made it through.

The August scans looked promising. My CEA level (the colon cancer tumor marker) was dropping fast. My doctors were optimistic and telling me good things. My November scans looked just as good. I was told I was in remission and they would monitor me for the next 2 years. Wow. Dodged a bullet, so I thought.

Right after Thanksgiving, I get a call from my oncologist, my CEA level has increased again and they aren't sure why. I need to get checked again. I wait it out through the holidays. In February 2020, I have a CT scan and a PET scan. I then have an EUA (exam under anesthesia) to check the original tumor. Not only is the original tumor back but the cancer has spread to my liver. 3 lesions.

I went from being in remission to stage IV in less than 3 months. You talk about whiplash. My head was spinning. The hardest part was talking to my family about what was going on and what comes next. In April I started on infused chemotherapy, FOLFOX + Avastin. 4 hours of infusion followed by 36 hours of a pump worn at home. I did this every 2 weeks, 4 times, covering an 8 week span. I was told to pause after that so I could deal with my liver.

Time to up the ante. I got into MD Anderson to see the experts. I have a huge team of doctors and specialists trying to help me survive. Even though I was told by my local oncologist last year that radiation was a one-time thing and I had my life-time dosage, MDA doesn't see it that way. They have a more specialized approach so in June, I went through a second round of radiation and chemo. Twice a day for 13 days at the end of June. That was hell and the following 2 weeks were just as bad trying to recover. I was honestly missing the infused chemo.

Oh, and towards the end of the radiation, I paused the final treatment so I could have a procedure done on my liver to zap the 3 lesions. Then I finished the final radiation treatment the next day. My local oncologist called me "ballsy" for putting my self through that. In some ways, I felt like I deserved to suffer.

I have slowly recovered from all of that and I am about to start back up on the infused chemo. I have 8 more rounds that have to be completed over the next 16 weeks. I have been hoping that by some miracle, this would cure my cancer. My doctors give me a less than 10 percent chance. All of this treatment is just slowing the spread of the cancer. As they have all been telling me for over a year, my only real chance is to remove the original tumor with surgery. I am almost assuredly facing a permanent colostomy at the end of all of this. If I had listened to my doctors last year and had that done, I might have saved some of this suffering and be cancer free. Or perhaps not. I will never know.

In the meantime, I will continue to fight it. I will deal with the terrible side effects from the treatments. The constant running to the bathroom. The s******g myself time and again. The pain and irritation. The embarrassment. The humiliation. The sadness of knowing what I have and am putting my family through. I am not afraid of dying. I am afraid of letting my family down.

All because I was too stupid to listen to the people that know more than me.

Trust me on this one people. Pay attention. Get checked early. Get checked often. Don't be me.

EDIT: Wow. I am overwhelmed by the responses, the kind thoughts and words, and the gilding. Thank you all.

In reading your replies and my original post, I can see where it may sound like I am despondent and being too hard on myself. It reads worse than it is. I know cancer is an evil killer that is not prejudiced or biased. I did not help myself but I know I didn't deserve it either.

Another aspect I should have added to my post is that I am adopted and I have zero knowledge or information about my birth parents. So my medical history is a complete blank. It was this reason (and the pushing from my family) that drove me to get checked. For my kids. Subsequent genetic testing has shown that I do in fact have 4 variants making me more susceptible to certain cancers. Now my kids know that as well.

The message is simple. Get checked. If not for yourself, then for your kids and your family, present or future.


Had a real bad cold I just couldn’t get rid of. I felt worse and worse each day for around four months. Never went to the Dr because I was 30 and it was a cold and I had a $5000 deductible. I finally go see a Doc, get a p**s-poor examination and a script for antibiotics. I did feel better on them, but the day after the antibiotics course was over, I was back to feeling like hell. The day I finally went to the ER, I was getting ready for work and had to sit and rest just from getting dressed. Then, I walked out to my car and had to stop and lean on the car to rest before even getting in. I got to work and when my boss noticed I couldn’t stand for more than two minutes without having to sit down she insisted that I go to the ER. After they checked my blood, the doc came in and basically told me that he’s not sure how I’m still alive because I have a hemoglobin level of 2 (a level of 8 is considered an emergency requiring immediate blood transfusions) At least now I know why I felt like I was dying! He tells me that I could be because of an ulcer or other internal bleeding, or it could be a cancer like leukemia or lymphoma. As soon as he said that, in my mind I said “yeah, it’s cancer.” I had an endoscopy that night which found no internal bleeding, and throughout the night I needed ten back to back blood transfusions. I woke up feeling like a million bucks because I actually had blood in my body for the first time in months. I’m super fortunate that doctors were able to move quickly with my treatment, I had a successful bone marrow transplant at one of the top hospitals in the US, and I’ll be three years of remission in August!


my friend had bone cancer. Her leg hurt for a few months and when she finally told her parents about the on holding pain they went to a doctor. Turns out she had really bad bone cancer and the leg was needed to be amputated because it was too late or else she would have died. The cancer also already spread to her lunge. It was a long process until she was healed.

I'm glad she survived all of this. I hope the cancer wont return.

So, always go to the doctor even if its just your knee/ leg that hurts!

(I'm sorry for every mistake I made. English isnt my native languagey so I'm sorry about that.)


Wife had recurring sinus infections for months, then uncontrolled burping / acid reflux. Turned out to be an esophageal tumor that had spread to liver and a few other places. Fought for three years, but is now in brain and she is currently in hospice.


My grandma had headaches but then on my brothers birthday we went out to eat and she was practically in tears from the headaches. She scheduled an appointment and they found a tumor. They operated the next Tuesday and she was gone within 5 months.


My mom found out she has cancer a week ago, at first she felt pain in her armpitmand naturally she did some research and found out that the people who have pain in the same spot have cancer. However, i didnt give it much thought as every cancer diagnosis is different. The next day she went to the doctor, turns out its a tumor. The week after she tested the tumor to see if its cancerous and sadly it was. Tomorrow the doctor will tell her the plan for recovery. Please pray for her fast recovery.

Edit: Thank you everyone for the support, I lost my dad to cancer two years ago when I was 12, thanks for all of your prayers I really hope my mom can recover through this


I was passing menstrual blood clots the size of tennis balls. I had uterine cancer. I was 32 and childless. Had to have a complete hysterectomy.


One lump on my underarm, no other symptoms. Had a biopsy and scans and then was diagnosed with hodgekins lymphoma stage 2B. Turns out i had half a dozen tumours inside me but close together. Had chemo and radio, in remission within 3 months, stopped treatment within 6. Life was on pause for a year. Been cancer free for a year now.


I had abnormal small amounts of bleeding after intercourses, went for a Pap smear, do it once a year, but went in earlier because of symptom. Turned out I had early stage of Cervical Cancer. After few surgeries later, with one ovary removal, partial cervix removal and lump nodes out, I am fine.


I was four. We were visiting my grandmother at work (Target). I still distinctly remember playing with the little dots on a Sprite bottle.

I had to potty. So my mom took me to the bathroom. I peed, and stood up. While she was helping fasten my pants, I looked at the toilet.

It was full of blood.

We rushed to the hospital. Turns out I had Wilm’s Tumor. A tumor the size of a large grapefruit had ruptured my right kidney and I was internally hemorrhaging. I was rushed to surgery.