Routine checks at the doctor will surely not protect you from cancer on their own. Early detection is key if you want to survive the disease, which is why you need to listen to your body and recognize the signs sooner rather than later.
Here are the main symptoms of cancer you should look out for:
Wheezing and shortness of breath
Both symptoms have been reported as some of the earliest signs of lung cancer, so make sure you don’t overlook them.
Chronic cough and chest pain
These symptoms are usually a sign of leukemia or lung tumors. If you notice them going on for longer, visit a doctor to make sure it’s not cancer.
Frequent fever or infections
These symptoms are an early indication of leukemia, a blood cancer that begins in the bone marrow. Leukemia causes production of abnormal white blood cells which can damage your immune system and make it difficult for your body to fight infections.
Difficulty swallowing is not an innocent symptom – it may be a sign of throat or esophageal cancer. If you suddenly have difficulty swallowing, visit a doctor immediately.
Swollen lymph nodes and lumps in the neck
Swollen lymph nodes can indicate an infections or tumors in the lymphatic system, so don’t disregard the lumps on your neck.
Excessive bruising and bleeding that doesn’t stop
These symptoms are often a sign of changes in the red blood cells, probably caused by leukemia which is known to crowd them out. Besides this, leukemia can also prevent your blood from clotting.
Weakness and fatigue
Don’t think that weakness and fatigue are just a sign of too much physical work – they can sometimes be a sign of cancer, so you should visit a doctor if you’re feeling tired all the time.
Bloating and abdominal weight gain
If you’re bloated even after light meals, visit a doctor as it can be a sign of ovarian cancer.
Feeling full and unable to eat
This is also a symptom of ovarian cancer which is often mistaken for something else.
Pelvic and abdominal pain
These symptoms are signs of ovarian cancer and should be definitely checked at a doctor.
Rectal bleeding and blood in the stool
If you notice blood in your stool, you should be concerned and visit a doctor immediately. Both symptoms are most often a sign of colorectal cancer which is deadly in the final stages.
Unexplained weight loss
Losing weight all of a sudden is not a reason to celebrate – it can be a sign of some type of digestive cancer and may also indicate that the disease has spread to the liver.
If you are suffering from constant stomach ache, it can be an early symptom of colorectal cancer or several other types of digestive cancers.
Red, sore and swollen breast
These are some of the early symptoms of breast cancer which shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you notice any kind of change in your breasts, you need to visit a doctor immediately.
A change in the look or feel in the nipple is a cause for concern and often a symptom of breast cancer.
Heavy and irregular periods
If you’re having heavy periods out of schedule and have them several times a month, it can be a sign of uterine or endometrial cancer.
Swelling in the face
Although swelling in the face can indicate several diseases and conditions, it can also indicate lung cancer. The swelling is caused by small lung tumors which are blocking blood vessels in the head.
A sore lump that doesn’t heal
There are several types of skin cancers – melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. If you notice any strange lumps on your skin that don’t heal over time, you need to visit a specialist right away.
Any kind of nail change indicates problems with your health. For example, clubbing on your nails is a sign of lung cancer, while pale and white nails can indicate liver cancer.
Pain in the back and lower side of the body
Lung cancer patients have reported back pain as one of the earliest symptoms they experienced. Breast cancer also causes back pain, so make sure to check the symptom at a doctor.
All of these symptoms should never be mistaken for something else or disregarded as they can be the thin line between life and death. Check your body for any unusual growths or symptoms and visit a doctor to increase your chances of survival.