One of the complications of detecting and diagnosing some early cancers is that they often do not cause any symptoms, and if they are detected, they are associated with many other causes and conditions. .
That’s one reason it’s important for people to have a primary care doctor they see every year, says oncology nurse Josette Snyder, BSN, MSN, AOCN.
A doctor who knows your history and has a record of your health can help you determine whether changes in your body require testing or a visit to a specialist.
Snyder discusses what signs and symptoms you should look out for.
What are the common symptoms of cancer?
All of the symptoms below may not be cancer-related or benign, but Snyder recommends reporting them to your doctor.
A lump under the skin
A benign cyst cannot be distinguished from a cancerous one just by looking, so check for lumps in your breasts, neck, and genitals.
If you notice any other changes in your breasts, such as dimpling, discoloration, or nipple discharge, talk to your doctor. It can be a sign of breast cancer.
A mole that changes in appearance
Do regular self-exams. Be on the lookout for any moles that are uneven or change in shape, color, or size, which could be signs of skin cancer, such as melanoma.
Use this guide for your skin exam:
Inequality. Moles are asymmetrical – one side looks different than the other half.
Border. Instead of a well-defined edge, a mole has an irregular, fuzzy, or fuzzy-looking border.
Color. Moles come in many colors like brown, black, brown, pink, red or even white and blue.
Diameter. Moles are larger than six millimeters (about the size of a pencil eraser).
Evolution. The mole is developing – changing color, size and shape.
Persistent fever or infection
If you tend to get infections after an infection or have frequent fevers, this could be a sign that your immune system is dealing with lymphoma or leukemia.
Change in bathroom habits
We all experience diarrhea or constipation from time to time. But if you notice a noticeable change when you go to the bathroom, it’s time to talk to your doctor.
This can include frequent or frequent urination, and blood in the stool or urine. These changes are symptoms of colon, prostate, and bladder cancer.
You’ve lost a few pounds without even trying. Should you be worried? It is best to consult your doctor and explain what symptoms you are experiencing, such as loss of appetite.
Unexplained weight loss may indicate that certain types of cancer have spread.
Do you feel as if the tube is stuck in your throat? It happens.
But if this sensation, as well as difficulty swallowing, lasts for more than two weeks, it can be a sign of cancer of the mouth, throat, or esophagus.
Your mouth will change
Pay attention to sores and injuries in your mouth that cause pain. If they are persistent, it may be a sign of oral cancer.
This is especially true for people who smoke and drink too much alcohol.