Routine tests are not that efficient when it comes to preventing cancer. Learn how to listen to your body. Notice every change, every sign that may indicate that something is wrong. Here are 20 important signs that women often overlook:
- Wheezing and shortness of breath
Patients diagnosed with lung cancer say that this is the first symptom they remember is being unable to catch a breath.
- Chronic cough and chest pain
Leukemia, lung tumors and other types of cancer sometimes cause symptoms that resemble a severe cough or bronchitis. Patients with lung cancer say that their chest pain had sometimes extended up to their shoulder or down their arm.
- Frequent fever and infection
These may indicate leukemia, a kind of cancer that attacks blood cells and develops in the bone marrow. The marrow produces abnormal white blood cells and affects the body’s ability to fight infections.
- Difficulty swallowing
It may be a symptom of esophageal or throat cancer. In some cases, it is considered as an early symptom of lung cancer.
- Swollen lymph nodes or lumps on the neck, underarm or groin
These may be a sign of changes in the lymphatic system, which can oftentimes be a symptom of cancer.
- Excessive bruising and bleeding that does not stop
These are a sign that there is something wrong with the platelets and red blood cells. In some cases, this can indicate leukemia. After some period, the number of leukemia cells becomes a lot higher than that of red blood cells and platelets, and the blood cannot perform its function to carry oxygen and clot.
- Weakness and fatigue
General fatigue and weakness may be a sign of many kinds of cancer. Consider any other weird symptom that you have in order to determine whether it is cancer. Consult your doctor every time you feel exhausted for no reason, also in cases when proper sleeping does not help either.
- Bloating or abdominal weight gain
Unexplained abdominal bloating may sometimes be a sign of ovarian cancer. It occurs suddenly and continues on and off for a long time.
- Feeling of fullness and being unable to eat
In some cases, women diagnosed with ovarian cancer have no appetite and cannot eat, even when they have not had a decent meal for some time.
- Pelvic and abdominal pain
Pain and cramps in the abdomen, in combination with bloating, may indicate ovarian cancer. Leukemia also causes abdominal pain, which occurs as a result of the enlarged spleen.
- Rectal bleeding or bloody stool
This is a common symptom of colorectal cancer. Consult your doctor if you notice blood in your stool, and schedule a colonoscopy as soon as possible.
- Unexplained weight loss
Sudden and unexplained weight loss is an early symptom of colon and similar digestive cancers. It may also indicate a cancer that has metastasized to the liver, which decreases appetite and affects body’s ability to eliminate waste.
- Upset stomach and stomachache
Frequent stomach cramps and upset stomach are a common symptoms of colorectal cancer.
- A red, sore, and swollen breast
These may be a sign of inflammatory breast cancer. Consult your doctor about any weird or sudden change to your breasts.
- Nipple changes
Before being diagnosed with breast cancer, most women remember having their nipples flattened, inverted, or turned sideways.
- Unusually heavy and painful periods, or bleeding between periods
This is an early sign of endometrial or uterine cancer. Schedule a transvaginal ultrasound if your periods are heavier than usual.
- Swollen features on the face
Patients diagnosed with lung cancer often experience puffiness, swelling, or redness on the face. Small lung tumor cells block the blood vessels in the chest, and the blood cannot flow freely from the head and the face.
- Sores or skin lumps that do not heal, create a crust and bleed easily
Learn more about the different types of skin cancer or melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Check your skin for any growths and spots.
- Changes in nails
Sudden changes to the fingernails may indicate several kinds of cancer. Brown or black streak or dots under the nail may indicate skin cancer. “Clubbing” or enlarged ends of fingers and curved nails may indicate lung cancer. Pale and white nails may be a symptom of liver cancer.
- Pain in the back and in the lower right side
This is an early sign of liver cancer. Back pain is a common symptom of breast cancer, because tumors press the chest. The pain sometimes occurs when the cancer reaches the spine or the ribs.
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