To protect ourselves from the coronavirus, many of us are putting off our annual check-ups and screenings, which are often associated with cancer. It’s understandable. However, early detection is one of the best weapons against the disease.
Screening can detect cancer before symptoms appear. You too can pick up early warning signs by paying attention to changes in your body. If you notice something new or different that lasts a few weeks or lasts a few weeks, see your healthcare provider. Not all signs of cancer are cancer. Here are 17 symptoms that should prompt you to call your doctor.
- Abnormal periods or pelvic pain
Most women experience irregular periods and cramps from time to time. However, persistent pain and changes in your cycle may be a sign of cervical, uterine or ovarian cancer.
- Change in bathroom habits
Significant changes in physical activity may indicate colon, prostate, or bladder cancer, among other cancers. Warning signs include persistent constipation and diarrhea; black or red blood in the stool; black, tarry stools; urinate more often; and blood in your urine.
We all feel bloated from time to time. But bloating for more than two weeks can be a sign of ovarian cancer, as well as various gastrointestinal cancers.
- Breast changes
These include new lumps and bumps around the nipple, discoloration, and unusual discharge that hasn’t happened before. Although most breast cancer occurs in women, men can also develop it.
- Chronic cough
A cough that lasts longer than two weeks, especially a dry cough, can be a sign of lung cancer.
- Chronic headache
Headaches that last longer than two weeks and do not respond to conventional medications may be caused by a brain tumor.
- Difficulty swallowing
If you feel like your throat is stuck or have trouble swallowing for more than two weeks, it could be a sign of throat, lung, or stomach cancer.
- Excessive bruising
A bruise on the shin from bumping into the coffee table is normal. But having a lot of bruises in unusual places without a sudden collision can indicate the presence of various types of leukemia.
- Frequent fever and infection
Repeated fevers or transitions from one infection to another may indicate an immune system that has become more sensitive to lymphoma or leukemia.
- Oral changes
Persistent sores, injuries, and sore spots in the mouth, especially in people who smoke or drink a lot, may indicate the presence of various oral cancers.
- Skin changes
A change in the appearance of a mole or birthmark will be evaluated by a health care provider in person or through a video examination. Use a handy mnemonic called ABCDE to remember which changes are cause for concern.