According to health experts you should pay great attention to warning signs and symptoms that could indicate cancer. By paying greater attention to these signs, you will be able to detect the cancer in its early phases and therefore you will improve your chances of successfully treating the condition.
You should note that these signs and symptoms, that we will describe bellow, do not necessarily indicate cancer, but you should not ignore them. Therefore if you notice any of these symptoms, you should analyzed it and make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.
There are more than 200 types of cancer. However the most common types include lung, prostate, breast, ovarian, bladder, colorectal, kidney (renal), pancreatic, and endometrial cancers as well as melanoma and leukemia.
Here are some warning signs and symptoms of cancer that you should not ignore:
One of the first signs of cancer is unexplained weight loss. This sign is especially common in people who are suffering from tumor cancers, such as lung and breast cancer.
This unexplained weight loss usually occurs when the cancer spreads to the liver and impairs its function. This is specifically related to regulating the appetite and removing the toxins. The unexplained weight loss might also be an early sigh of colon or some other digestive cancers.
However you should know that unexplained weight loss is so common that:
- 40 percent of cancer patients report unexplained weight loss at the time of diagnosis,
- unexplained weight loss and cachexia, are experienced in up to 80 percent of cases of advanced cancer.
You should be concerned if you lose 10 pounds a month or up to 10% of your body weight in a period of six months, and then definitely you should visit your doctor.
In most of the cases the fever indicates that your body is fighting some kind of infection. However a persistent and prolonged fever can be a sign of a cancerous condition, such as lymphoma.A cancer of the blood cells, or widely known as leukemia, can also cause symptoms such as, fatigue, frequent infections, aches, fevers and many other flu-like symptoms.
If you are feeling that feeling of weakness and fatigue, even though you have enough sleep and rest, then you should definitely visit your doctor, because this can be a sign of various cancers.
You probably know that many conditions can cause wheezing or shortness of breath. But did you know that they can be symptoms of lung cancer too? Let us explain you shortly, when the tumor in the lung presses against the lung and therefore it narrows the airway, this leads to wheezing, a whistling sound that occurs during exhalation due to constricted airways.
Bad cough and bronchitis can be symptoms of cancers, such as lung tumors and leukemia. Another symptom that often occurs alongside these ones is the chest pain that can extend into the shoulder or down the arm. Therefore if you experience any of these symptoms you should immediately visit your doctor.
If you are a smoker or you have smoked in the past, and you are having cough and hoarse voice for more than 6 months, you should definitely visit your doctor. In many cases, a hoarse voice may be a symptom of laryngeal, thyroid, esophageal or lung cancer.
If you are suffering from an unexplained abdominal bloating, that occurs on-and-off over a long period of time, you should see a doctor, because this could be a symptom of ovarian cancer. This bloating is usually accompanied by swelling in the abdomen and pelvic pain. Also a feeling of fullness may be another symptom of this condition. In addition, bloating or pain in the stomach after a meal, could be a sign of stomach cancer.
Usually the heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux disease. However if the heartburn is persistent, it could be a sign of Barrett’s esophagus or esophageal cancer.
If, for no obvious reasons, you notice a change in your bowel habits, and this changes last for four weeks or even longer, you should immediately consult your doctor, because these changes in your bowel habit could indicate to a bowel cancer, especially in older adults.
Are you having problems swallowing? Or you have that feeling that the food is stuck in your throat or your chest, and this feeling is getting even worse with time? If so, then you need to see a doctor, because these are the symptoms of esophageal or throat cancer. Another symptoms of these kind of cancers are pain or a burning sensation when swallowing food.
Jaundice is characterized by yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes. Jaundice is also considered a symptom of liver or gallbladder disease. However, jaundice can also be a symptom of pancreatic cancer interfering with the bile duct and the liver.
Any unusual lumps on the groin, neck, underarm, breasts, abdomen, or any other parts of the body should be thoroughly checked by a doctor, especially if these lumps last for three weeks or more.
Usually, an enlarged lymph node or lump under the arm can be a symptom of breast cancer. Also the inflammatory breast cancer is often indicated by sore, swollen and red breasts.
Changes on your skin rarely cause you pain and often pose little or no health concerns, but experts recommend that you check yourself for cancer when you see:
- new growths, spots, or sores on your skin that won’t heal
- changes in symmetry, border, color or diameter of an existing mole.
Several types of cancer, such as liver, skin or lung cancer, can be indicated by some unusual changes in your fingernails.
- Black or brown spots under your nails may indicate skin cancer.
- Clubbing of the fingers or the toes (enlarged ends of the nails) could be associated with lung cancer. In other words diseases that reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood cause this problem.
- Poor liver functioning, can be indicated by pale or white nails. White or pale nails can appear due to various diseases including liver cancer.
Usually, lower abdominal or pelvic pain, if accompanied by pelvic heaviness, is a symptom of ovarian cancer. These symptoms, can also change your bathroom habits. In general, higher risk of developing ovarian cancer, have those women who:
- have never been pregnant,
- have a family history of ovarian, breast, or colorectal cancer, or
- have been diagnosed with breast, colon, rectum or uterine cancer.
In addition, if you are feeling pain in the pelvic area, you should also visit your doctor, because this could be a sign of uterine cancer or leukemia (when pain is due to an enlarged spleen).
If you are feeling a persistent and unexplained pain or if the pain comes and goes for over a period of four weeks and more, then you need to visit your doctor, because this pain could be an early symptom of bone or testicular cancer.
Blood in your urine, often is a sign of some kind of urinary tract infection. However in some cases blood in your urine can be a symptom of kidney or bladder cancer. Also, blood in your stool, often is a sign of hemorrhoids, however sometimes it can be a sign of bowel cancer.
If you are bleeding between periods or after menopause, it could be a symptom of endometrial or uterine cancer. In very few cases, the vaginal bleeding could be a sign of vaginal cancer. However bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract is often a sign of bowel cancer.
Vomiting blood and coughing up blood are usually signs of stomach or esophageal cancer and lung cancer. The most common and well known signs of leukemia are excessive bruising and bleeding that does not stop. Even though abnormal bleeding can be caused by other many other illnesses too, you should still visit your doctor.
Source: Keep Your Body
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