Our body always sends us messages about our health condition, so every doctor recommends their patients to do regular check-ups so we can find out what the messages mean. If we neglect them, we will never find out that they are warning us that we have signs of cancer. Finding out on time, leads to successful treatment. Keep in mind that not all the signs mean cancer, but still you should be aware of them and pay more attention. Learn more about the symptoms you have and go to see a doctor.
Over 200 cancer types are there that we know or maybe heard of them. The most common and known ones are: lung, breast, prostate, bladder, ovarian, kidney (renal), colorectal, endometrial and pancreatic cancer, and also leukemia and melanoma. Many of these types are incurable, or the chances of surviving are very low, mainly for lung cancer. Late discover of the cancer, when it is expanded in advanced stage, can be fatal and there will be obstacles for curing.
The most common signs of cancer are presented here. If you have some of these signs than be prepared to take care of them on the right way!
- Losing weight unexplainably
The initial stage of cancer is this one, especially when you have these types of solid tumor cancers: lung and breast cancer. The cause of weight loss is when the cancer extends to the liver and obstructs its function, which stops the removing toxins and regulating appetite. Be careful, this can also mean that you have digestive types of cancer, like colon cancer.
From all of patients that suffer from cancer, 40% of them describe this warning sign, and 80% of patients that have advanced cancer, are facing cachexia (general ‘wasting’) and losing weight unexplainably.
It is normal if you lose weight when you exercise or are on a diet, but the problem begins when you lose up to 10% of your weight or 10 pounds every month (in a period of 6 months).
- Tiredness and fragility
If you feel tiredness and fragility, and are not disappearing that easily no matter how hard you try to get rest, immediately call your doctor! That can be a symptom of more types of cancer.
- Infections and repeated fevers
Having an infection in your body means that you will have a fever too. But if the fever is continual, that might be a sign of a cancerous condition, like lymphoma. Moreover, fever, frequent infections, aches, fatigue, and other signs related with flu can describe the cancer of the blood cells, known as leukemia.
- Breath abbreviation and whistling
Possible signs of lung cancer can be these ones. If you hear whistling coming from your lungs, it can be possible that is caused by a lung tumor which presses and tapers the airways.
- Chronic cough and pain in chest
These can be a signs of bronchitis, but they can also describe lung cancer or leukemia. Be careful and try not to be fooled! You can have this problem from time to time or it can be constant. If you feel pain in the chest and down to your arm or shoulder, make sure that you visit the doctor as quick as possible. Feeling hoarse in your voice or if you cough more than 6 weeks, can indicate thyroid, lung, esophageal, or laryngeal cancer. So don’t wait and call your doctor!
If you notice that you bloat for no reason, for a longer period of time, then you have one of the most common cancer warning signs. Ovarian cancer has all these symptoms including: swelling in the abdomen, pelvic pain, and feeling of fullness. Likewise, if you have stomach pain and blowing after eating, it might be a stomach cancer.
- Chronic heartburn
This is a sign of acid reflux, but continuous heartburn can be a sign of esophageal cancer or Barrett’s esophagus. A study, that was published in May 2012 by the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, explains that the inflammation of the tissue lining in the esophagus that raises the risk of esophageal cancer, is caused by chronic heartburn. Moreover, the research made by scientists at Rhode Island Hospital, that was published in 2013 by the American Journal of Cell Physiology, describes the connection between Barrett’s esophagus and the cancer development in esophagus.
- Problems with the bowel
If you have changes in your bowel’s habits that you can’t explain, and they last four weeks or more, can be a sign of bowel cancer. It usually happens to the older people.
- Problem with swallowing
Having problems with swallowing? Every time you try to swallow you feel like you have something stuck in your throat and chest, and it’s getting worse day by day. This sign shows that you might have throat or esophageal cancer. Also, feeling burning sense or pain when you swallow food are warning signs for the cancer. There are no primary symptoms of the esophageal cancer, so if you have these feelings don’t ignore them. When you have lung cancer you also have problems with swallowing, and it is possible for you to have this type of cancer.
If you notice yellow color on the whites of the eyes and your skin, you should know that these are symptoms of jaundice. It is usually a symptom not only of gallbladder or liver disease, but for pancreatic cancer too. This type of cancer stops the function of the liver and bile duct.
- Uncommon swelling or chunks
Noticing strange chunks on your groin, testicle, breast, underarm, abdomen, neck, or any other part of your body that are on that place for 3 weeks more than 3 weeks, then you revealed a new sign of cancer. This is an emergency case so go to see your doctor ASAP! Having a chunk or extended lymph node under the arm, or red, swollen breasts, sensitive on touch are symptoms for breast cancer.
- New or changing moles or skin spots
Not every skin change is dangerous, and not every skin decease causes pain. But the doctors suggest if you see these types of skin changing then you should test yourself and find out if you have cancer:
- non-healing spots, growths, or sores on the skin
- color, symmetry and diameter changes, or border of your already existing mole.
- Nail changes
Noticing strange changes of your fingernails is not something that you should be afraid of. Not all the changes are bad. But they can be warning signs for cancer too. Maybe you have skin, lung, or liver cancer. If you have particular changes, see if they look like this:
- Skin cancer appears when you have brown or black spots under fingernails.
- You have lung cancer if the ends of your nails are enlarged (clubbing of the toes or fingers). This condition happens if you have lower amount of oxygen in the blood.
- Liver cancer can cause weak activity of the liver, and you can notice that from the color of your nails: white or pale.
- Abdominal or pelvic pain
Ovarian cancer can be caused by lower abdominal or pelvic pain with pelvic heaviness and changes in the bowel habits. This type of cancer has a bigger chance to develop in:
- women with a family history that suffered from ovarian, colorectal, or breast cancer.
- women who have never had kids.
- women with a diagnosed colon, breast, uterine, or rectal cancer.
Furthermore, the pain that you feel in the pelvic area show signs of leukemia or uterine cancer.
- Uncommon pain that lasts longer than 4 weeks
Many reasons can cause pains and aches. But feeling pain for no reason from time to time or stays more than 4 weeks and more, may lead to a bone cancer, so be careful and visit a doctor.
- Abnormal bleeding
Urine infection is followed by blood from your genitals, but bleeding can also mean cancer, e.g. kidney or bladder cancer. Likewise, blood from your genitals indicates bowel cancer, and it’s typical for having hemorrhoids. Bleeding after menopause or between periods it’s a sign of uterine or endometrial cancer. Maybe it is rare, but not impossible. There is a chance for vaginal bleeding, which indicates vaginal cancer. Also, bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract can cause colorectal cancer.
It is important to know that the signs for leukemia are excessive and persistent bruising and bleeding. Lung and esophageal, or stomach cancer are caused by coughing or vomiting blood. It cannot be cancer if you have abnormal bleeding, but it is something that needs proper medical examination, so it won’t lead to serious conditions and diseases. Call your doctor immediately if you see, or already have one of these symptoms and save your own life!