Cancer has now become a common cause of death. Scientists have come up with significant improvements in treatment and prevention of cancer. Detecting any sign of cancer early is very crucial because treatment works best in the early stages. So, it is important to watch for any unusual changes in your body. It helps you take adequate measures to tackle the disease.
Keep in mind that a cough happens because of other medical reasons too. But, if it persists for a long time without remedies, then you should consult a doctor. Sometimes, chronic cough or chest pain occurs if you have cancers like leukemia and lung tumor. Hoarseness can be a sign of cancer of the larynx (voice box) or thyroid gland. Coughing up blood is another symptom of lung cancer.
2. Trouble Swallowing
If you often feel difficulty in swallowing, it raises an alarm. It might be associated with the cancer of the esophagus, stomach, or pharynx (throat). Sometimes, it is also an early warning sign of lung cancer. However, swallowing problems are most often linked to other medical issues than cancer.
3. Breathing Difficulties
Wheezing or shortness of breath can be early signs of lung cancer. If there is an unexplained shortness of breath, you should seek medical care.
Lumps on the neck, underarm, or groin indicate that something has gone wrong in your body. It can be due to other reasons. But a few cancers also cause lumps. Swollen lymph nodes are also signs of cancer.
As we all know, fever is our body’s mechanism to fight an infection or illness. But, if a fever does not go away that easily, it could be a warning sign. It happens when cancer has spread from where it started. Rarely, fever can be an early sign of cancer such as blood cancers like leukemia or lymphoma.
6. Weakness And Fatigue
It can be an early indication of some cancers like leukemia. Colon or stomach cancers cause blood loss and this is another reason for your fatigue. According to American Cancer Society, extreme tiredness may be an important symptom as cancer grows. Even after proper rest, you may feel fatigue.
7. Unexplained Weight Loss
It should make you happy if you lose weight without trying. But in reality, it can be a bad signal. An unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds or more may be the first sign of cancer. This is often associated with cancers of the pancreas, stomach, esophagus (swallowing tube), or lung.
8. Skin Changes
The common sign of skin cancer is a change in the size, shape, or color of a mole or warts. If you think skin cancer alone causes changes to your skin, you are wrong. Some other cancers also cause skin changes like redness and dark spots. Sometimes excessive hair growth and itching also happen. White spots in the mouth sometimes indicate oral cancer. People who smoke or chew tobacco should consult a doctor without delay if they have a long-lasting sore in the mouth. It could be a sign of oral cancer. Remember that some breast cancers can also show up as red or thickened skin.
9. Changes In Bladder Function
Experiencing pain when passing urine or blood in the urine or frequent urination can be linked with bladder or prostate cancer. Long-term constipation or diarrhea can be related to colon cancer. Rectal bleeding or blood in stool is a common sign of colon or rectal cancer.
10. Unusual Bleeding
Abnormal vaginal bleeding is a sign of cervix or endometrial (lining of the uterus) cancer. Unusually heavy or painful periods or bleeding that’s not a part of your usual monthly cycle should be taken care of.
This list of early signs is not to scare you. But to make you aware about the most common signs and symptoms of cancer. This will help you take action if anything goes wrong. Do not hesitate to seek the guidance of a health care practitioner, if you notice any change in the way you feel about your body.