Cancer is one dreaded illness that is everyone’s worst nightmare. And early detection is extremely vital for successful treatment of most cancers. Let us look at a few early signs and symptoms that indicate that cancer may be growing in our bodies. The sooner we spot these signs of cancer, the better are our chances of beating it.
1. Lumps Beneath The Skin
Any new lumps in the body can be indicative of cancer. But to recognize these lumps, you need to be comfortable with touching your body and knowing what’s normal and what is out of the ordinary. Many a times, lumps in the breast tissue are recognized by women and men who perform self-examination and feel the breast tissue on a regular basis. It is a good idea to touch and examine your body regularly, especially on and around the breasts, testicles, armpits, throat, abdomen and the skin. Examining these areas regularly will help you spot any abnormal growths before they have a chance of becoming larger.
2. Itch On The Skin
Our body’s immune system treats cancer like bacteria invading the system, as a result of which, white blood cells are sent to the site to destroy the new entrant. This increases the blood flow to the area making it appear warm, red, changed in color, feeling tight or itchy. Any unusual itchiness that you notice without a reason or a rash, needs to be examined by your doctor.
3. Wounds That Aren’t Healing
Any wound, injury or a cut on the surface of your skin that is taking a longer time to heal and you are noticing little progress in it, needs to be a sign to sit up and take notice, as it could be a sign of cancer growing in your body. The reason this happens is that your immune system has prioritized the cancer growing in the system and is using all available resources to handle that before it can do anything about the minor wound you’ve got. In case you notice a wound that isn’t healing, keep it clean and visit your GP to have anything else serious ruled out.
4. Bumps On The Tongue Or Inside The Mouth
Any bumps on the inside of the mouth, in the gums or throat especially if they are white in color, should be a cause for concern. They may be nothing in all likelihood, but it’s better to err on the side of caution and have them examined by your doctor.
5. Loss Of Appetite Or Trouble Swallowing
Any changes to your digestive system or a disruption of any kind should be a cause for concern as it disturbs the body’s ability to get nutrition and manage processes like healing. If you experience a sudden and unexplained loss of appetite you need to have a word with your doctor about it.
6. Any Changes In Bowel Movements
Anything out of the ordinary in your bowel movements that lasts for more than two days should be a cause for concern. If you find blood in your stools, notice changes in the color of stools like your stools looking darker or lighter in appearance, experience pain while eliminating, are constipated, have diarrhea or find mucus in your stools, you need to visit your GP and have certain things ruled out. Some of these symptoms are indicative of colon cancer and need immediate medical examination and treatment.
7. Any Changes In Urination
Just like with your bowel movements, any abnormal changes that you notice in your bladder function need to be a cause for concern. Any changes in the flow, quantity, color, smell, presence of foam or any noticeable blood needs to be reported to your doctor and checked for the presence of cancer in the body.
8. Unexplained Bleeding
Any bleeding that is unexplained and isn’t during your usual menstrual cycle needs to be checked and any blood from the uterus, nipple or any bodily excretions need to be examined by a doctor.
9. A Change In The Pitch And Tone Of Your Voice
Any kind of change in your voice, like changes in the pitch or tone, when they aren’t accompanied by a throat infection or a sore throat, can be indicative of a cancer of the larynx, and need to be examined by your doctor.
10. Unexplained Coughing
Coughing that can be attributed to a flu or some other upper respiratory tract infection is quite harmless. But if you experience persistent coughing that is not a result of some other illness, a cancer may be growing inside your body, either in your lung, esophagus, throat or the stomach.