1. Postmenopausal bleeding
Light spotting after going through menopause is quite a common occurrence in women. With that being said, if you experience period-like bleeding pain after going through menopause, and consistently so, it could be an early warning sign of uterine cancer. The good news that is a stage 1 diagnosis of uterine cancer that hasn’t spread has a five-year survival rate of 88%.
2. Breast dimpling, discoloration, or other changes
Women are told to look out for unusual lumps on their breasts as a tell-tale sign of breast cancer, however, there are other changes in the breasts that can signal cancer too. These include dimpled breast skin, an inverted nipple, swelling, tenderness or skin discoloration to a deeper red or pink. Although these signs aren’t necessarily indicative of cancer, they should definitely be followed up on with your doctor.
Bloating is a common symptom that most women experience, especially during the menstrual cycle, but if the symptoms persist after it’s over, then it could be a sign of ovarian or uterine cancer. This symptom could also be coupled with a feeling of consistent constipation. If symptoms persist over the course of a few weeks, you must go to the doctor. Many ovarian cancer patients report vague symptoms such as these that they ignore for months before seeking help. Feeling full despite not having much of an appetite can also be a symptom of ovarian cancer.
4. Abnormal periods or pelvic pain
Irregular menstrual cycles are not uncommon in women, however, if your menstrual flow becomes heavier with each passing month, or you experience bleeding between cycles, you should ask your doctor for a transvaginal ultrasound to check for uterine, ovarian or other vaginal cancers. Pelvic pain can also be a symptom of these cancers.
5. Chronic coughing
Coughs that last three weeks or more that are not coupled with other symptoms, such as a stuffy nose or allergies, could be an early symptom of lung cancer. Leukemia can also cause bronchitis or chest cold-like symptoms. Coughing up blood is also a significant symptom that should never be overlooked. You should also know that some lung cancer patients report chest pain extending into the shoulder or down the arm.
6. Stomach pain or nausea
Persistent stomach cramps or sudden nausea that doesn’t get better should be checked by a doctor. Although it could be something as simple as an ulcer, it could also be a symptom of leukemia or esophageal, liver, pancreatic, or colorectal cancer.
7. Frequent fevers or infection
Getting sick or feverish more frequently than you normally would could be an early sign of leukemia, which is cancer of the blood. It triggers the body to produce abnormal white blood cells and saps its ability to fight infections by weakening the immune system. Flu-like symptoms, such as achiness and fever, should also be paid attention to.
8. Difficulty swallowing
Difficult or painful swallowing caused by a sore throat that persists over a few weeks is a common sign of throat or stomach cancer. It could even be an early sign of lung cancer.
9. Excessive bruising
Bruises that pop up all the time, especially in odd places like your hands and fingers, should raise an alarm. This is because they could be indicative of leukemia, which can impair the blood’s ability to carry oxygen and clot over time.
10. Unexplained weight loss
Weight loss that just occurs without a big life event, unforeseen problems or training can be a sign of many different cancers, namely esophageal, pancreatic, liver and colon, among others. It’s an especially common symptom of leukemia or lymphoma.
11. Persistent fatigue
Being low on energy is something that everyone experiences from time to time, but you should feel refreshed after one or two good nights’ sleep. If you’ve been tired every single day for more than a month or experience shortness of breath in instances when you didn’t before, be sure to visit your doctor. Most of the time, such symptoms are not indicative of cancer, however, leukemia and lymphoma are known to cause persistent fatigue.
12. Chronic headaches
If you don’t get migraines and suffering from headaches is unheard of to you, but begin to experience them all of a sudden, then it could be a sign of brain cancer. Head to your doctor.
13. Blood in the stool
Although blood in the stool is often caused by something benign, such as hemorrhoids, it could also be a sign of colon cancer. What’s more is that people under 50 presenting with colon cancer are becoming much more common. Younger people tend to dismiss blood in the stool as being caused by hemorrhoids or constipation, especially if the problem comes and goes, but you should know that blood in a bowel movement is never normal.
14. Noticeable skin changes
Skin cancer is quite simply the USA’s most common cancer, but it also happens to be one of the trickiest cancer to spot before it’s too late. We’re all aware of keeping an eye out for freckles, moles or dark age spots, but moles that become darker, larger or raised should also catch your attention. You should also know that melanoma is far less common than other skin cancers, but can be far more deadly. Nevertheless, you should be fine if it’s caught early.
15. Sores or pain in the mouth
Sores in the mouth that never seem to heal, or white or red patches on the gums or tongue, could be signs of oral cancer. This is also true for any swelling or numbness of the jaw. If these symptoms persist for longer than two weeks, then you must see a doctor.