Physicians constantly recommend paying unique attention to warning signs that may indicate undiagnosed cancer. Early detection of this illness increases the chances of effective treatment. Although the warning signs and symptoms in this article may not necessarily indicate cancer in all cases, you should not ignore them. Rather, analyze the symptoms and signs you do experience, then visit your medical professional.
There are over 200 cancer types, the most common being lung, breast, prostate, bladder, ovarian, kidney (renal), colorectal, endometrial and pancreatic cancer, as well as leukemia and melanoma. For the majority of these types of cancer, the survival rate is poor, especially for lung cancer. The reason is the late detection when the cancer is currently in advanced stage, which impedes the treatment procedure.
Take a look at some of the most common signs and symptoms of cancer. In case you experience them, make sure you address them properly.
1. Unexplained Weight Loss
This is among the preliminary obvious cancer signs, specifically for strong growth cancers like lung and breast cancer. As soon as the cancer reaches the liver and interrupts its performance associated with removing contaminants and regulating appetite, it triggers weight-loss. However, this can also be a warning sign of digestive types of cancer, like colon cancer.
- 40% of all cancer patients report this warning sign at the time of medical diagnosis
- up to 80% of advanced cancer cases are experiencing cachexia (general ‘wasting’) and unexplained weight loss
Losing weight by watching your diet or exercising is normal. In all other cases, losing up to 10% of your weight, or approximately 10 pounds a month in a 6-month period is likely a cause for issue.
2. Fatigue And Weakness
If your fatigue and weakness do not disappear even when you rest or get more sleep, consult your doctor ASAP considering that it might be a warning symptom of many cancers.
3. Frequent Fevers Or Infections
Most of the times, fever is an indication that your body battles an infection. Nevertheless, if it’s a prolonged or persistent one, it may show a cancerous condition, like lymphoma. Also, the cancer of the blood cells, leukemia, can cause signs such as fever, frequent infections, aches, fatigue, and other flu-related indications.
4. Shortness Of Breath Or Wheezing
Shortness of breath and wheezing can indicate different conditions, including lung cancer. Wheezing might be triggered by a lung tumor pressing against and narrowing an airway.
5. Chronic Cough And Chest Pain
In some cases, lung cancer and leukemia signs mimic a bronchitis or a bad cough. The problem might appear occasionally, or be chronic. These symptoms can likewise be followed by chest pain extending down the arm, or into the shoulder. In such cases, make sure you make an appointment with a medical professional as quickly as you can. In addition, if you cough and your voice is hoarse more than 6 weeks, consult your medical professional. There are cases when hoarse voice shows thyroid, lung, esophageal, or laryngeal cancer.
Frequent bloating for no obvious reason and over a longer time period, might indicate ovarian cancer, especially if it is accompanied by swelling in the abdomen, pelvic pain, and feeling of fullness. Similarly, bloating or pain in the stomach after eating might indicate a stomach cancer.
7. Chronic Heartburn
Generally, heartburn is a sign of acid reflux. However, chronic heartburn might be connected to esophageal cancer or Barrett’s esophagus. In May 2012, the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology has released a study which discusses that chronic heartburn can trigger inflammation of the tissue lining in the esophagus that in turn raises the risk of esophageal cancer.
Moreover, in 2013, the American Journal of Cell Physiology has actually published the research carried out by scientists at Rhode Island Hospital, which describes the link between Barrett’s esophagus and the esophageal cancer development.
8. Bowel Issues
Four-week or longer lasting unexplained changes in the bowel practices can suggest bowel cancer, especially in older individuals. In such cases, consult your doctor.
9. Difficulty Swallowing
Problems with swallowing, or feeling chunks of food stuck in your chest or throat that worsen with time, may indicate throat or esophageal cancer. Other indication of these kinds of cancer include burning sensation or pain when swallowing food. In many cases, esophageal cancer doesn’t reveal any preliminary symptoms, so don’t overlook these if they do appear. Problems with swallowing can likewise be one of the initial warning signs of lung cancer.
This condition is defined by yellowing the whites of the eyes and the skin. Generally, jaundice is a sign of gallbladder or liver illness, however it can also suggest pancreatic cancer which interferes with the functioning of liver and bile duct.
11. Uncommon Swelling Or Lumps
If you notice an unusual lump on your groin, testicle, breast, underarm, abdominal area, neck, or any other part of your body that lasts for 3 weeks or more, make an appointment with your medical professional ASAP. Often, a lump or enlarged lymph node under the arm can indicate breast cancer, Swollen, red and aching breasts can be a sign of inflammatory breast cancer.
12. New Ore Changing Moles Or Skin Spots
Although many skin changes are not hazardous and do not trigger pain, doctors recommend screening for cancer if you notice:
- new spots, growths, or sores on the skin that do not recover
- changes in color, symmetry, diameter, or border of your existing mole
13. Nail Changes
Although weird modifications in your fingernails can stand for lots of reasons, they can likewise be warning signs of skin, lung, or liver cancer.
- brown or black areas under fingernails can be a sign of skin cancer.
- enlarged ends of the nails (clubbing of the toes or fingers) can be linked with lung cancer. This issue is caused by conditions which lower the quantity of oxygen in the blood.
- white or pale nails can suggest bad functioning of the liver triggered by lots of illness, such as liver cancer.
14. Abdominal Or Pelvic Pain
Lower abdominal or pelvic pain followed by pelvic heaviness and changes in the bowel habits can suggest ovarian cancer. The chances of developing this kind of cancer are higher in:
- women with a family history of ovarian, colorectal, or breast cancer.
- women who have actually never been pregnant.
- women diagnosed with colon, breast, uterine, or rectal cancer.
In addition, pain in the pelvic area might indicate leukemia or uterine cancer.
15. Unusual Pain Lasting Longer Than 4 Weeks
Pains and aches can be triggered by various factors. However, pain occurring for no evident reason which comes and go, or remains for a duration of 4 weeks or more, has to be checked by a physician as it may indicate testicular or bone cancer.
16. Abnormal Bleeding
Besides being a sign of a urinary tract infection, blood in the urine can also show kidney or bladder cancer. In the same way, blood in stools can suggest bowel cancer, although it is a normal sign of hemorrhoids. Signs of uterine or endometrial cancer include bleeding after menopause or between periods. Although hardly ever, often vaginal bleeding can indicate vaginal cancer. Likewise, one of the indication of colorectal cancer is bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract.
Excessive and relentless bruising and bleeding might be a warning sign of leukemia. Coughing or vomiting blood can show lung and esophageal, or stomach cancer respectively. Although the factor for abnormal bleeding is not cancer in most cases, it can show other severe conditions and diseases that need proper medical checkup. Besides doing the recommended cancer screenings and regular health check-ups, make sure you focus on the signs explained in this article.