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Talk with your health care provider about unexplained changes in your body.

Screenings are not available for every type of cancer. You should be aware of any changes in your body — pain or other signs — that could indicate a health problem. If you have symptoms, you should talk with your health care provider about them. Not every sign is serious. But finding cancer early, when it’s most treatable, can save your life.

Nurse examining a patient for signs of cancer

Risk factors and symptoms.

It helps to know the warning signs of certain types of cancers, particularly since there are no screenings available to stay on top of early detection. If you know you are at risk for a specific cancer, be sure you are aware of the symptoms so that you can identify any problems early.

Bladder Cancer

You are at higher risk if you:

  • Have a family history of bladder cancer
  • Have certain gene mutations (unusual changes that occur when your body’s cells are dividing)
  • Have been overexposed to certain workplace chemicals, such as those used in processing paint, dye, metal, and petroleum products
  • Take some kinds of chemotherapy drugs
  • Drink well water contaminated with arsenic
  • Take the Chinese herb Aristolochia fangchi
  • Have chronic urinary tract infections (including those caused by Schistosoma haematobium)

You can reduce your risk by:

  • Not smoking
  • Avoiding environmental toxins

Symptoms can include:

  • Blood in your urine (the most common symptom)
  • Frequent urination
  • Pain while urinating
  • Back pain
  • Pelvic pain

Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer

You are at higher risk if you:

  • Are obese
  • Have taken certain pain medicines, such as diuretics and analgesics including aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen, for a long time
  • Have high blood pressure — it is not known whether the increased risk is due to high blood pressure itself or the medicines used to treat it
  • Have certain genetic conditions, including von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer, Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome, and hereditary papillary renal cancer
  • Have been exposed to the chemical called trichloroethylene, which is used to remove grease from metal

You can reduce your risk by:

  • Not smoking
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Exercising
  • Being very careful if you use certain kinds of chemicals, especially trichloroethylene — which is used by workers in some jobs, like those who work with metals

Symptoms can include:

  • A lump or mass in the kidney area or abdomen
  • Blood in the urine
  • Lower-back pain or pain in the side that doesn’t go away
  • Feeling tired often
  • Fever that keeps coming back
  • Loss of appetite
  • Losing weight for no reason that you know of
  • Something blocking your bowels
  • A general feeling of poor health

Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

You are at higher risk if you:

  • Are older (risk increases with age)
  • Are Caucasian
  • Are a woman
  • Have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Have Epstein-Barr virus
  • Have been exposed to high levels of ionizing radiation
  • Have been exposed to herbicides and pesticides

Symptoms can include:

  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss

Pancreatic Cancer

You are at higher risk if you:

  • Smoke (smokers are twice as likely to develop pancreatic cancer)
  • Are a man
  • Are African-American
  • Are 65 years of age or older
  • Have diabetes
  • Have chronic pancreatitis
  • Have a family history of pancreatic cancer

You can reduce your risk by:

  • Not smoking
  • Maintaining a healthy weight

Symptoms can include:

  • Jaundice (when your skin has a yellowish color) and related symptoms
  • Belly or back pain
  • Weight loss and poor appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Gallbladder or liver enlargement
  • Blood clots
  • Fatty tissue abnormalities
  • Diabetes

Uterine Cancer

You are at higher risk if you:

  • Are 50 years of age or older
  • Are obese
  • Take estrogen by itself (without progesterone) for hormone-replacement therapy during menopause
  • Have had trouble getting pregnant or have had fewer than five periods in a year before starting menopause
  • Take the drug tamoxifen, which is used to treat certain types of breast cancer
  • Have close family members who have had uterine, colon, or ovarian cancer

You can reduce your risk by:

  • Using birth control pills
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Being physically active
  • Taking progesterone, if you are taking estrogen
  • Asking your health care provider how often you should be checked for uterine cancer, especially if you think that you have factors that increase your chance of getting it

Symptoms can include:

  • Vaginal discharge or bleeding that is not normal. Bleeding may be abnormal because of how heavy it is (longer or heavier than normal) or when it happens, such as after you have gone through menopause or between periods.
  • Pain or pressure in your pelvis


  • Endometrial biopsy
  • Transvaginal ultrasound

Nurse Navigators

Delaware nurse navigators can help you get screened for cancer.

Whether you have insurance or not, Delaware nurse navigators can help you get screened for cancer and provide follow-up help when you get your results. Choose from the list below to call a nurse navigator directly, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., or click the call request button to have a nurse navigator contact you.

A Nurse Navigator on the phone supporting a patient
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