Cancer is the most common cause of death nowadays! Despite the high general awareness, some studies have shown that most women tend to overlook these common symptoms of cancer!
It has been estimated that in 2016, there will be roughly 1,685,210 new diagnosis of cancer in the US alone and 595,690 of those will result in death. The most common types of cancers are: leukemia, prostate cancer, bronchus cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, renal pelvis cancer, breast cancer, rectum cancer, colon cancer, endometrial cancer, thyroid cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and melanoma of the skin.
Types of cancer that usually affect women are skin cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancers, cervical cancer, lung cancer, endometrial cancer and colon cancer. Awareness about these cancers and their symptoms as well as the precautions you can take in order to prevent them may help save your life. In addition, the early diagnosis (smaller cancers in size and easier to treat) greatly increases the chances of survival.
A woman’s body changes all the time due to various reasons. Women experience numerous stages of growth, however sometimes the body can take an unnatural direction. All women should know the warning signs and symptoms of cancer. A great number of women have the early warning symptoms of cancer. Recognizing these early warning symptoms of cancer may save your life! Therefore, it is very important to be informed.
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers that women get in their lifetime. This cancer can appear at any age, still the risk increases as a woman gets older. Due to certain factors, some women suffer a greater risk at having this kind of cancer than others. Regardless, all women should be aware of this cancer as well as be able to recognize the early symptoms and what can be done about it.
Here are some early warning symptoms of cancer women mustn’t ignore:
Fatigue – If you are constantly feeling tired and the fatigue doesn’t get better, combined with other symptoms such as blood in your stool, go to a doctor immediately. Your doctor will give you blood tests and inquire your complete medical history in order to give a diagnosis.
Unexplained Weight Loss – Marleen Meyers MD, who isan oncologist at NYU Langone Medical Center says that in most cases an unintended weight loss is not a sign of cancer, but rather it is often caused by your thyroid or stress. However, sometimes it may be a symptom of pancreatic cancer. Furthermore, it can be a sign of lung cancer or stomach cancer as well. In order to make sure it is not cancer, visit your doctor. You may have to do many tests to define the problem, such as imaging tests (CT scans) or blood tests.
Unexplained Pain – Numerous conditions can cause pain, but chronic pain that is unexplained and lasts a month or even more can indicate brain cancer, bone cancer, or other kinds of cancers. Consult your doctor about any pains that are suspicious, unexplained and prolonged.
Fever – Constant fever that does not get better and is unexplained could indicate leukemia or some other blood cancer. Consult your doctor immediately and present him/her with the details of your medical history. You will have to take a physical exam in order to determine the cause.
Heartburn – Stress, alcohol or overeating (or all three) can provoke a serious heartburn. Dr. Meyers recommends making changes in your diet for a week or two to see if the heartburn gets better.
Coughing – This is no doubt one of the most common and overlooked symptom on this list. It is also the most diverse. There are numerous different causes and reasons that can make people cough. Most times coughs are temporary and trivial in nature. However, when the cough continues for more than few weeks you should be concerned. If during the cough you feel short of breath or in pain it could be a sign of something serious. If you start coughing up blood, then it is most certainly something serious. People who smoke should pay extra attention to coughing, because it is the most common symptom of lung cancer.
Lymph Node Changes – The lymph nodes are tiny, bean-shaped glands located all around the body. Most of the changes in the lymph nodes are caused by common infections. However, some cancers, such as lymphoma and leukemia, can also cause swelling of the lymph nodes. Meyers says that It is a recommended to see your doctor if you have a swelling or a lump anywhere in your body for more than few weeks.
Skin Changes – Changes in the color, the shape or the size of a mole or some other spot is a common indicator of skin cancer. Visit your doctor for a complete exam and maybe a biopsy. This time you really don’t want to wait.
Breast Changes – Most of the lumps in the breasts aren’t cancer, still your should always check them. Let your doctor know about changes such as skin puckering, skin dimpling, nipple discharge, nipples that turn inward, scaling or redness of the nipple or breast skin.
Mouth Changes – If you are a smoker, check for bright-red or white patches on your lips or inside your mouth. Both can indicate oral cancer. Consult your doctor or dentist concerning tests and treatment.
Trouble Swallowing – Occasional trouble when swallowing is nothing to be worried about. However, when it happens more often, especially combined with vomiting or weight loss, make sure to get checked out for throat cancer or stomach cancer.
Between Period Bleeding – In premenopausal women a bleeding that’s not a part of the usual monthly cycle can be caused by many factors. In any case, let your doctor rule out endometrial cancer first. This is a cancer of the lining of your uterus.
Bloating – Marleen Meyers says that women are natural bloaters. However, she also says that If your symptoms happen with bleeding or weight loss or they don’t get better with time, go see a doctor. Chronic bloating can sometimes indicate ovarian cancer. You will have to do blood tests as well as a pelvic exam, and sometimes maybe even an ultrasound.
Blood in stool or Urine – If you’re bleeding from a part of your body that normally isn’t supposed to bleed, consult a doctor, especially if the bleeding lasts more than a day. Blood in the stool is often from hemorrhoids, however it can also be a sign of a colon cancer. Blood in the urine is usually caused by urinary tract infections, but it is also the first sign of bladder cancer or kidney cancer, stated Herbert Lepor MD, who is a urologist at NYU’s Langone.
Urination Changes – Urinary symptoms include a general change in bladder function, small amounts of urine, frequent urination, blood in the urine and slow urine flow. All of these symptoms can be a result of enlarged prostate gland in men, and urinary tract infections (usually) in women.
If you have any of these symptoms make sure to visit a doctor and get checked.