Cancer is a terrifying disease, and one that most people believe attacks us quickly and quietly. While that may be the case sometimes, the reality is that cancer’s appearance in our bodies is usually accompanied by many tell-tale signs that are often ignored.
Cancer Warning Signs
Below are the top 10 warning signs of cancer that often go unnoticed for various reasons.
1. Freckles and Moles
The most helpful aid in telling you if you have a cancer of the skin can be your moles and freckles. Keep an eye on those that are new, raised, oddly shaped, or different colors. Always point them out to your doctor if you have any freckles or moles that concern you, and get your whole body checked during your annual check-up.
Because cancer cells reduce the stores of energy in your body, frequent fatigue often accompanies cancer. Cancer also affects the immune system and blood cell production in your body, which further contributes to fatigue. If you are constantly tired no matter how much sleep you get, be sure you mention it to your doctor.
3. Unexplained Weight Loss
Although this is sometimes a symptom of thyroid issues as well, unexplained, drastic weight loss can also be a warning sign of cancer. Again, be sure to mention this to your doctor as soon as you notice it.
4. Changes in Your Skin
Dark, yellow, or red areas on the skin can be a sign of cancers within the body as well as potential cancer of the skin.
5. Stool Changes
Regular constipation or diarrhea can sometimes be a sign of cancer, usually in the lower digestive tract. Other warning signs include sudden change in stool size or pain while going #2.
This is one of the symptoms most commonly ignored because it can so easily be attributed to other issues, or even a bad lunch. However, you should know that indigestion is also associated with cancers of the upper digestive tract. Cancerous growths lead to a difficulty in swallowing and/or frequent stomach pain that is persistent.
Unexplained bleeding may also be a sign of cancer, and this also includes persistent bruises (which is bleeding under the skin). A couple of particular signs to look out for include coughing up blood, bloody stool, vaginal bleeding, bloody discharge (from your nipples, for example), or blood in your urine.
Unexplained sores may be a sign of skin cancer, cancer of the mouth, or a cancer of the genitalia. If you notice a sore that seems to have no cause, talk to your doctor right away.
A cough can be a result of anything from a cold to allergies, but if you have a persistent cough or scratchy throat, it may be time to seek out medical advice. A chronic cough can signal cancer of the respiratory tract.
10. Unusual Lymph Nodes
Our bodies have lymph nodes almost everywhere, and they can become swollen due to allergies or the common cold. Generally swollen lymph nodes will subside after a few days; if any lymph node remains swollen, tender, or painful for longer than a couple of days, talk to your doctor right away.
Knowing these 10 warning signs can quite possibly save your life or the life of a loved one. When it comes to cancer, early detection is key. If you ever suffer from one of these oft-overlooked warning signs, be sure to mention it to your doctor right away, so any necessary steps can be taken.