Doctors recommend that you shouldn’t ignore any sign that might point to undiagnosed cancer. Your chances of having a successful treatment increases with early detection. Though not every sign or symptom in this post is an indication of cancer, however, you really shouldn’t ignore them. Rather, you need to analyze these signs and symptoms before you visit your doctor.
There are more than 200 types of cancer; however, breast, bladder, ovarian, colorectal, kidney, lung, prostate, pancreatic, endometrial, and leukemia and melanoma are the most common. The survival rate for most of these cancer types is low, especially lung cancer. Late detection is the reason for this low survival rate, as it often impedes the treatment procedure.
Here are some common symptoms of cancer. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should visit your doctor for a checkup at the earliest opportunity.
Here are 15 Signs of Cancer that shouldn’t be Ignored, read more on the next page:
Unexplained Weight Loss
This is probably one of the first noticeable sign of cancer, particularly if it involves a solid tumor cancer like breast or lung cancer. Cancer causes weight loss when it reaches the liver thereby disrupting its functions of appetite regulation and toxin removal. But this can also be a sign of digestive cancer like colon cancer.
40% of the people diagnosed with cancer experience this sign at the point of diagnosis
About 80% of those advanced cases of cancer, experience cachexia (i.e. general wasting) as well as unexplained weight loss
Exercising or watching your diet to lose weight is normal. However, if you lose 10% or more of your body weight or even 10 pounds in just 6 months, then there is cause for alarm.
Weakness and Fatigue
If you feel fatigued and weak even after resting, you might need to consult a doctor immediately, because it could be a warning sign of cancer.
Recurrent Infections or Fevers
Fever is actually a sign of your body fighting an infection. However, when it becomes prolonged or persistent, it might be an indication of cancers, like Lymphoma. Also, leukemia which is cancer of the blood can induce fever, fatigue, frequent infections including other flu-related symptoms.
Wheezing or Shortness of Breath
Constant wheezing and shortness of breath can be a symptom of conditions, like lung cancer. Wheezing might occur when a lung tumour starts pressing and narrowing the airway.
Chronic Chest Pain and Cough
Symptoms of leukemia and lung cancer are sometimes masked as a bad cough or bronchitis. The symptoms may also come with chest pain that extends to the shoulder or arm. If you notice any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your doctor. Also, if you notice that your voice gets hoarse when you cough, you should consult your doctor, especially if it persists for more than six weeks. A hoarse voice might be a symptom of laryngeal cancer, lung, thyroid or esophageal cancer.
Extended periods of bloating for no reason, might be an indication of ovarian cancer, particularly if it comes with abdominal swelling, feeling of fullness and pelvic pain. Also, pain or bloating in the stomach after meals might be a symptom of stomach cancer.
Heartburn is normally a symptom of acid reflux. However, if the heartburn persists, you might want to check for Barrett’s esophagus or esophageal cancer. The Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology published a study in May 2012. The study explains how chronic heartburn can lead to inflammation of the esophagus’ tissue lining which in turn increases the odds of esophageal cancer.
Furthermore, the American Journal of Cell Physiology also published research organized by some scientists at the Rhode Island Hospital in 2013, explaining the connection between esophageal cancer development and Barrett’s esophagus.
Unexplained changes in your bowel habits that last for four-weeks or even longer might be an indication of bowel cancer, particularly in older people. You should consult your doctor, if you notice this.
If you’re having problems swallowing or your throat feels like there are chunks of food stuck in there when you swallow, then you probably have esophageal or throat cancer. Feeling pain or burning sensation when swallowing food, are other signs of this cancer. Most times, esophageal cancer does not exhibit early symptoms, so if you notice any of these symptoms you shouldn’t ignore it. Swallowing problems can also be a symptom of lung cancer.
Yellowing of the skin and the whites of your eyes are symptoms of jaundice. Jaundice is typically one of the symptoms of liver or gallbladder disease, however, it can also be a symptom of pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer disrupts proper functioning of the bile duct and liver.
Lumps or Unusual Swelling
If you ever notice any strange lump in your groin area, breast, abdomen, neck, testicle, underarm, or any of other area of your body which persists for three weeks or more, you need to see your doctor as soon as possible. An enlarged lymph node or a lump under the arm might be an indication of breast cancer; swollen, sore and red breasts can also be a symptom of inflammatory breast cancer.
New Skin Spots or Changing Moles
Though very few skin changes are actually dangerous, doctors have however recommended that you go for a cancer screening if you notice any of these symptoms:
new growths, sores or growths on the skin that has refused to heal
any change in the diameter, border or color of your existing mole.
Changes on the Nail
Although a lot of things can cause strange changes on your fingernail, however, these changes might be symptoms of lung, liver or skin cancer.
Black or brown spots underneath your fingernails can point to cancer.
Enlarged nail ends (clubbing of the fingers or toes) might be a symptom of lung cancer. This is caused by reduced oxygen in your blood.
Pale or white nails can be a symptom of damaged liver which could be caused by diseases like liver cancer.
Pelvic or Abdominal Pain
Pelvic or lower abdominal pain followed by heaviness in the pelvic region and changes in bowel habits could be an indication of ovarian cancer. The following categories of women are more likely to develop this cancer:
women with family history of colorectal, breast or ovarian cancer
women that have never gotten pregnant
women who have been diagnosed with breast, rectal, uterine or colon cancer.
Furthermore, pelvic pain might also be an indication of uterine cancer or leukemia.
Unusual Pain that Lasts for Longer than Four Weeks
A lot of things can cause pains and aches. However, if you experience constant pain for no apparent reason and the pain lasts for up to 4 weeks, You might want to check with your doctor for bone or testicular cancer.