The National Cancer Institute reports that approximately 38.5% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in the course of their life. In fact, they estimate that there were 1,688,780 new cases of Cancer in 2017! A staggering number!
The good news is that many of these cases can be treated if they are caught early enough. The World Health Organization states, “Early detection of cancer greatly increases the chances for successful treatment. There are two major components of early detection of cancer: education to promote early diagnosis and screening. Recognizing possible warning signs of cancer and taking prompt action leads to early diagnosis.” Learn to listen to your body and pay attention to the messages it is trying to send you.
Don’t ignore these 14 signs of cancer:
#1 – Abnormal Bleeding
Whether you are spotting between periods or bleeding heavier than usual, you should pay careful attention to any signs of abnormal bleeding. This is one of the known indicators of endometrial cancer.
#2 – Changes in the Mouth
If you are experiencing frequent and recurrent canker sores, or if you notice patches of yellow, white or gray within your mouth you should speak with your doctor. These changes may be caused by oral cancer.
#3 – Inability to Swallow
If you are currently battling a cold, flu or a sore throat then you may occasionally have difficulty swallowing. If, however, you notice that you have a hard time swallowing with no explanation, or if it is accompanied by weight loss or vomiting, this may be a sign of throat or stomach cancer.
#4 – Blood in Your Stool or Urine
If you notice blood either in your stool or your urine this may be nothing more than hemorrhoids or a small tear in the rectum, however, it may also be something more serious. If you notice blood that lasts for than 2 days this may be a sign of colon cancer.
#5 – Fever
There are many different causes for a fever, most of which are minor and will clear up on their own, an unrelenting and ongoing fever may be caused by leukemia or another blood cancer.
#6 – Changes to the Breast
We all know that we should be watching out for a lump on the breast, but did you know that there are other signs regarding your breast that you should be watching for? Lumps are not the only indication of breast cancer. Pay attention to any unexplained rashes, scaling or redness of the nipple, nipples turning inward or discharge.
#7 – Unexpected Weight Loss
You may have been considering losing weight for awhile, but if the weight suddenly starts to drop off with no changes to your date or exercise routine then you should speak with a doctor. While unexpected weight loss is usually just the result of stress, it may be a sign of colon or pancreatic cancer.
#8 – Cough
If you have been suffering from a cough for longer than 4 weeks, or if it is accompanied by shortness of breath this may be cause for concern. A cough is one of the most common indicators of lung cancer.
#9 – Changes to Your Skin
Have you noticed a new mark or spot on your skin? Has a mole grown bigger? Are you experiencing an unexplainable rash? These may all be signs of cancer and shouldn’t be ignored. A doctor will be able to determine if there is a risk by performing a biopsy.
#10 – Headaches
If you are experiencing chronic headaches and don’t have a history of migraines, this may be a warning sign of brain cancer. This is particularly important if your headaches are accompanied by double vision.
#11 – Bloating
It’s normal to bloat, a regular side effect of eating certain foods or the ever so popular menstrual cycle. If, however, you notice that the bloating does not subside, or if it is coupled with bleeding or weight loss, then it’s time to see a doctor. Abnormal bloating may be a sign of gastrointestinal cancer, ovarian cancer, colon cancer or pancreatic cancer.
#12 – Excessive Bruising
If you know that you are extremely clumsy and have a good explanation for your bruises then don’t be concerned, however, if you notice unexplained bruises this may be a sign of anemia or, more concerning, leukemia.
#13 – Heartburn
Heartburn is a common condition that most of us will experience at one time or another due to the food we eat or the drinks that we consume, however, it can also indicate something serious. Ongoing or worsening heartburn may indicate ovarian, stomach or throat cancer.
#14 – Lymph Nodes Changing
We often see changes in our lymph nodes when we are dealing with an infection which isn’t a major concern as the body is capable of fighting that off, however, pay attention if swelling lasts longer than a month. This may indicate something more serious like leukemia and lymphoma.