Symptoms of cancer of unknown primary (CUP)
Symptoms are different for everyone and are related to the area where the secondary cancer is found.
Some people with CUP have few or no symptoms; others have a range of symptoms that may include:
- feeling very tired (fatigue)
- poor appetite and/or feeling sick (nausea)
- unexplained weight loss
- shortness of breath or discomfort in the chest
- pain in the bones, back, head, abdomen or elsewhere
- swelling of the abdomen
- change in bowel habits, such as constipation or diarrhoea
- yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
- swollen lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, chest or groin.
Not everyone with the symptoms listed above will have cancer, but see your general practitioner (GP) if you are concerned.
For an overview of what to expect during all stages of your cancer care, visit Optimal Care Pathways – CUP. This is a short guide to what is recommended, from diagnosis to treatment and beyond.
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Prof Linda Mileshkin, Medical Oncologist, Clinical Researcher, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Christine Bradfield, Consumer; Cindy Bryant, Consumer; Dr Maria Cigolini, Head, Department of Palliative Medicine, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, and Clinical Lecturer, The University of Sydney, NSW; Mary Duffy, Advanced Practice Nurse and Nurse Coordinator, Lung Service, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Karen Hall, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council SA; Dr Andrew Oar, Radiation Oncologist, Icon Cancer Centre, Gold Coast University Hospital, QLD; Dr Siobhan O’Neill, Medical Oncologist, Nelune Comprehensive Cancer Centre, NSW; Prof Penelope Schofield, Department of Psychological Sciences and the Iverson Health Innovation Research Institute, Swinburne University of Technology, and Head, Behavioural Science in Cancer, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC; Frank Stoss, Consumer.
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