Most of us know the common cancer symptoms such as an unexplained lump, a new or changing mole or difficulty catching your breath. You’d definitely get those checked out. But what about the lesser known symptoms?
Be sure you’re not overlooking any of these nine commonly ignored cancer signals. The life you save could be your own!
1. Bowel changes:
Unexplained constipation or diarrhea shouldn’t be ignored. If you suddenly can’t go, or you can’t stop going, and it doesn’t clear up the way a stomach bug would these could be signs of colon or rectal cancer. If you notice your stools have become black or tarry it’s critical you get in to see a doctor because that could be a sign of internal bleeding.
2. Urinary changes:
Changes in how you pee can be a sign of cancer as well. While changes or discomfort while urinating may simply be a urinary tract infection, don’t count on it. If d-mannose or cranberry don’t clear up your symptoms talk to your doctor. Unexpected leaking, pain, urgency, or blood in your urine can all be signs of bladder or kidney cancer in men and women, or prostate cancer in men.
3. Dimpling or scaling on breasts:
It’s not just lumps in your breasts that you need to be concerned about. Keep an eye on other changes, especially dimpling, scaling or leaking, as well. And men, don’t think you can skip this one. Although breast cancer in men is rarer, it’s not unheard of. No matter if you’re a man or woman, if you notice any unexplained changes in your chest area speak up!
4. Nagging cough and/or hoarseness:
So, you shouldn’t panic every time you cough or you get a little hoarse. However, if you’re still coughing after three or four weeks, or if you get hoarse without a persistent cough, it could be more serious. These can be signs of laryngeal, lung and thyroid cancers. If your cough won’t go away, or you find you’re hoarse all the time, get in to see your doc to get checked out.
5. Constant fatigue:
This one’s easy to miss because fatigue is a symptom of so many things, including just living a busy life! But tiredness that affects your ability to function and doesn’t go away, no matter how much rest you get, could be a hidden cancer symptom. See your doctor and ask him about leukemia, colon and stomach cancers in particular.
6. Unexplained weight loss:
Many of us would be grateful to drop a few extra pounds, but if you’re losing it without trying – even if you can afford to lose a bit – it’s worth checking into. Weight loss that comes out of nowhere, without changes in diet or exercise, tends to be a signal of a bigger issue. It can be an early symptom of several cancers including pancreatic, stomach, esophagus and lung cancers.
7. Difficulty swallowing:
While some people struggle to swallow gigantic pills as they get older, in general difficulty swallowing is NOT a normal part of aging! If you’re having a hard time swallowing your food or drink that’s something your doctor is going to want to know about. It could be an early symptom of cancer of the esophagus, throat or stomach. Get it checked out to be on the safe side.
8. Mouth or canker sores:
The occasional canker sore is annoying, but probably not a hidden sign of cancer. However canker sores, mouth sores, or other oral changes that don’t clear up or keep coming back could be something more. Look for red or white patches in your mouth, on your tongue or around your lips. They could mean oral cancer.
The only time bleeding is okay is when a women is having her period. Otherwise, bleeding is always a bad sign. If you see blood in your stool or urine, blood coming from your rectum, or if you cough up blood see your doctor as soon as possible. It could be caused by any number of cancers.
If you’re having bothersome symptoms of any sort that you can’t explain don’t tough it out. And if any of these commonly ignored cancer symptoms sound familiar see your doctor right away!