Be careful, you could be ignoring cancer symptoms right at this very moment. Cancer is one of the many diseases with very low survival rate, but with early detection your chance of living through it could increase a lot.
A study by Cancer Research U.K revealed that more 50% of adults have experienced cancer-related symptoms, yet only two percent of them believed or even thought that cancer could be a possible cause.
“We aren’t sure why, but it seems there is a mismatch between what people know in practice and whether they apply the knowledge to themselves,” says study co-author Katriina Whitaker, Ph.D., senior research fellow at University College London. “So while awareness of many of these signs and symptoms is quite high, very few people mention cancer as a possible cause when it’s them who is experiencing the symptom.”
Check these cancer symptoms and be better, not sorry.
1. Persistent Cough or Hoarseness
Coughing can usually mean there is something wrong in your respiratory tract but if you have persistent cacophony or a cough accompanied by blood then it’s a different story. . “Most coughs are not cancer,” says Therese Bartholomew Bevers, M.D., professor of clinical cancer prevention and the medical director of the Cancer Prevention Center at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. “But certainly a persistent cough needs to be evaluated to see if it could be lung cancer.” Going under X-ray or CT scan as soon as possible can save your life.
2. Persistent Change in Bowel Habits
A change in bowel habits can be more than simple digestive disturbance. Bartholomew Bevers says that a sudden change in stool appearance can be an early sign of colon cancer. Difficulty in defecating could be a sign that there is a mass impeding the transit of the stool from the bowel according to her. When that happens the doctor should recommend colonoscopy immediately.
3. Persistent Change in Bladder Habits
How often do you urinate? How does your urine look like? Answers to these questions can help determine if you may soon be with the big C. “If there is blood in the urine, that could be indicative of bladder or kidney cancer—but more commonly this is a sign of a urinary tract infection,” says Bartholomew Bevers.
4. Persistent Unexplained Pain
Pains in general are not indicative of cancer but when it persists, that’s a different story. Pain, depending on where it is at and how frequent you experience it should be checked.
“Most pain is not a sign of cancer, but persistent pain must be checked out,” adds Bartholomew Bevers. “If you have persistent headaches, for example, you likely don’t have brain cancer—but it is still something that must be looked into. Persistent pain in the chest could be a sign of lung cancer. And pain in your abdomen could be ovarian cancer.”
So the bottom line is you should always know why you are experiencing pain. Not knowing can mean more danger for you.
5. Change in the Appearance of a Mole
Moles can also be symptomatic of cancers. If you see a new mark or noticed that the one you have suddenly changed in color, size or even texture, consult a dermatologist immediately.
6. A Sore That Does Not Heal
Our body heals itself. If you’ve been experiencing a sore and had already past the three-week mark, have it immediately checked by your doctor. That kind of sore could be a sign of carcinoma.
7. Unexpected Bleeding
A common symptom of cervical cancer is vaginal bleeding outside your normal cycle. Bleeding on the rectum on the other hand can mean colon cancer. So remember this, bleeding without apparent open wound that you are aware of means trouble.
8. Sudden Weight Loss
Sudden weight loss without you knowingly and actively causing it should be a red flag. “As adults, we try very hard to lose weight,” says Bartholomew Bevers. “But if weight is falling off of you without any effort on your part that is a big concern and can be indicative of a serious medical problem.” Malignancy or tumors often cause the patient to lose weight.
9. An Unexplained Lump
Touch yourself and if you feel any lump, no matter how small then have it checked. Any lump that is changing should be checked by your doctor according to our expert. Lumps in the breast and in testicles of course, are very common symptom of breast cancer and prostate cancer respectively.
10. Persistent Difficulty Swallowing
Swallowing food should be one of the easiest things to do in your life and difficulty doing it could be due to a cancer. Two cancers are often associated with difficulty in swallowing: neck and esophageal cancer. So if you experience that don’t just change your diet into softer one, have your esophagus checked ASAP.