14 Cancer Symptoms You Are Most Likely To Ignore
The second most common cause of death around the world in cancer. Can you imagine such a “deadly” disease has yet to be found a complete and utter cure for? Thankfully, there are ways to treat the disease to eradicate it from your system. But, the important factor in treating cancer is that it is detected before it passes a certain stage. To do this, we need to be aware of how to detect it.
Because you might not be aware of all the ways it can show itself, it might not always be as simple to figure it out. Here are some of the most commonly ignored symptoms of early-stage cancer:
1. Sudden Uncharacteristic Weight Loss
Most of us aren’t strangers to the struggle to lose weight, but unless we’ve been putting in the actual effort to achieve results through physical activity and healthy eating habits, your weight will not and should not reduce. The American Cancer Society says that if you experience sudden and unexplained weight loss more than 10 pounds, it might be a sign of early stage cancer such as colon, liver, esophageal, lungs, and stomach.
Almost everyone who has been diagnosed with cancer will tell you they’ve experienced fever at some point. This is more prevalent in patients with blood cancer because the majority of its impact falls on the body’s immune system, which is in charge of fighting off disease. A sudden, unusual, and persistent fever might be a sign of early stage leukemia, lymphoma, or colon and kidney cancer.
3. Persistent Fatigue
Have you noticed that you’ve been feeling really tired almost every day for the past month or more? Fatigue is an early sign of cancer types such as colon cancer, stomach cancer or leukemia. Dr. Rich Wender, chief cancer control officer for the American Cancer Society, says that it might not be the case that you have cancer all or even most of the time, but its always better to get yourself checked out.
4. Sudden & Persistent Pain
You might not think much of a stomach pain that seems to come and go as it pleases, or a headache that presents itself once in a while. If you’ve been experiencing unexplained pain that doesn’t seem to go away, you might experiencing the first signs of cancer. Sometimes bone cancer or testicular cancer can cause pain. A headache that doesn’t get better after a long-time treatment may be a symptom of a brain tumor. Back pain may be a sign of cancer in ovary or colon.
5. Sudden Appearance of Freckles, Warts or Moles
Skin cancer is the second most common type of cancer in the United States. It is also one of the cancers that people are least likely to think they have because some freckles appearing on the face doesn’t seem like that big of a deal to most people. But any sort of change to the skin, like freckles, warts or especially moles, getting darker or larger should be examined for skin cancer.
6. Change in Bowel or Bladder Habits
Has your time in the toilet suddenly changed? It could be anything from a change in the appearance of your stool to bloody discharge, diarrhea, or constipation. A change in the bowel movements could be an indication of cancers like rectal or colon. Bloody urine could be linked to prostate or bladder cancer.
If you’ve been feeling particularly breathless without much physical activity, you might want to consult the doctor. This is because the feeling of breathlessness is often associated with breast cancer tumors, ovarian or liver cancer. Other types of cancer may also cause breathlessness if they are situated close to your airway, or if they have spread to the heart or lungs.
8. Unusual Bleeding
Blood that comes out of any part of your body (when its not supposed to), is a cause for concern. This can in the sense of coughing blood, bloody urine, etc. In women who have reached menopause, unusual bleeding could even present itself in period-like form. Coughing up blood may be a sign of lung cancer. Blood in the stool or urine can forecast colon cancer or kidney or bladder cancer. A bloody discharge from the nipple can indicate breast cancer.
Lumps that appear out of nowhere are always cause for concern, and many people do know that they need to get it checked out immediately. While certain lumps could be just harmless, other times, it could be an indication of cancer. Cancerous tumors are often irregularly shaped, feel firm but aren’t painful, and are fixed in the soft tissue.
10. Difficulty Swallowing
Having trouble swallowing food? This can be uncomfortable and frustrating, but it could also be far more serious than a throat infection. This is also a common sign of various head and neck cancers such as esophageal, oropharyngeal cancer, thyroid and laryngeal cancers.
11. Excessive Cough
We’ve all had those coughs that seem like all our internal organs are going to fall out. But, if the cough isn’t related to a flu or if it lasts for longer than 3 weeks, it might be an indication of lung cancer. “If it’s different than your regular cough and if it persists or you cough up a little blood, that’s significant,” says Dr. Markman, MD, an oncologist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Excessive coughing is also common signs of laryngeal and thyroid cancer.
12. White Patches Inside the Mouth
If you notice unusual white patches in the mouth that seem to last a while, get it checked by your doctor. These could be a pre-cancerous element called leukoplakia, which could transform into mouth cancer later on.
13. Heartburn & Nausea
You know that burning sensation in your chest that is caused by acid reflux? Of course you do, because you’ve probably experienced it at least once in your life, like most other people alive. But, something as common as heartburn only starts to raise red flags when it doesn’t go away even after 2-3 weeks and is accompanied by nausea. This could mean cancer of the throat, stomach, or ovaries.
14. Belly Pain and Depression
About 70% of patients who are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer would have gone to their doctors complaining of stomach pain. Another symptom of pancreatic cancer is depression and fluctuations in mood, also reported to have been experienced by those diagnosed with it before they went to the doctor. This is why a combination of these two symptoms is particularly concerning. Although, this is a rare case unless the disease runs deep in your family.