In an effort to stay safe from the coronavirus, many of us have put off annual screenings and screenings where most cancers are caught. That is understandable. However, early detection is one of the best tools against the disease.
Screening can detect cancer before symptoms appear. You can also pick up early warning signs by paying close attention to changes in your body. If you notice something new or different that lasts for a few weeks – and a few weeks are important – call your doctor. Not all symptoms that could be cancer are cancer. But here are 17 symptoms that warrant a call to your doctor:
- Abnormal periods or abdominal pain
Most women have irregular periods or cramps. But persistent pain or changes in your cycle can be a sign of cervical, uterine or ovarian problems.
- Changes in the bathroom
Significant changes in body functions can indicate cancer, prostate or bladder, among other cancers. Warning signs include persistent constipation or diarrhea; black or red blood in your stool; black, tarry stool; frequent urination; and blood in your urine.
- abdominal pain
We all feel bloated now and then. But bloating for more than two weeks can lead to ovarian cancer, as well as many types of colon cancer.
- Breast replacement
These include a new lump, dimpling, discoloring, changes around the nipple or other abnormalities that you have not had before. Although most breast cancer occurs in women, men can develop it as well.
- Chronic cough
A cough that lasts longer than two weeks, especially a dry cough, can lead to cancer.
Headaches that last longer than two weeks and don’t respond to regular medication can be caused by a brain tumor.
- Difficulty swallowing
If you feel like food is stuck in your throat or you have trouble swallowing for more than two weeks, this could be a sore throat, lung or stomach infection. .
- Extreme irritation
A bruise on the face from bumping into the coffee table is normal. But suddenly getting a lot of bruises in a strange place that has not been hit can indicate a lot of blood cancer.
- Fever or infection
Excessive fever, or going from one disease to another can indicate that the immune system has become more affected by lymphoma or leukemia.
- Mouth changes
Persistent infections or sores or sores in the mouth, especially in people who smoke or drink a lot, can indicate many types of oral cancer.
- Skin changes
Changes in the appearance of a mole or birthmark should be evaluated by a doctor, either in person or by video. To remember which change is causing the concern, use the simple mnemonic, ABCDE.