(N.Morgan) Cancer is one of those diseases that people naturally fear and in recent years has seen an astronomical uptick in cases that are diagnosed each year.
Cancer can be caused by environmental pollutants, smoking, toxic foods, and poor dietary habits. It can also be genetic.
Cancer can and will affect every one whether directly or indirectly and symptoms should never be ignored.
It’s vital to closely monitor our body and question every change we notice, because we often tend to ignore the pains, aches and other smaller issues thinking they’re nothing serious.
Sometimes the smallest changes could indicate something is wrong and we shouldn’t ignore them.
According to the latest research, the most common and minor problems can often be the first symptoms of cancer.
In a survey of 1,729 adults over the age of 50 in the U.K published in PLOS ONE, respondents evaluated how serious they perceived a list of 17 symptoms —10 of which were actually cancer symptoms.
In the survey they also needed to respond if they had experienced any of these symptoms recently and what they did about it.
Even though it’s true that in the majority of cases “these warning signs will not indicate cancer,” “for a few, they might, and so going to the doctor sooner could save your life. If you have at least one of these cancer symptoms and it hasn’t gone away, go to your GP for advice” Whitaker says.
Here are the 10 cancer symptoms that should never be ignored:
7.5% of the survey respondents reported an unexplained lump and 67% of those contacted their doctor, even though 77% didn’t think it was serious.
If a new lump appears than it must be checked by a doctor.
It may also be a benign cyst, but it may also be cancer.
If the lump appears in the breasts then it may be breast cancer.
A persistent cough, especially accompanied by blood, can be a sign something is seriously wrong.
Bartholomew Bevers, MD of the MD Anderson Cancer Center said that “Most coughs are not cancer, but a persistent cough needs to be evaluated because it can be a symptom of lung cancer.”
In this case you should get an X-ray or CT scan just to make sure that is nothing serious.
Change in bowel activity
In the study conducted 18% of the examinees experienced some kind of change in their bowel movements, either size, amount or timing change.
Even though usually it’s caused by certain foods and medications, it’s better if you check it out.
Bartholomew Bevers states that if you have problems with constipation and your stool is larger than normal, you could have colon cancer.
She also said. ”This is a symptom where a person should go to the doctor and schedule a colonoscopy to see if there is a mass”.
Variations in bladder activity
You shouldn’t panic if you have blood in the urine as it can appear due to urinary tract infections.
But it can also appear due to bladder or kidney cancer.
So further testing is required to diagnose why there is blood in the urine.
As we get older we may experience various pains and most of them are not linked to cancer, but sometimes they can be.
If you suffer from severe headaches often, then you need to visit a doctor as it may indicate brain cancer.
Abdominal pain can be caused by ovarian cancer and pain in the chest can be caused by lung cancer.
Long-lasting sore throat
A persistent sore throat warrants a visit to a doctor, as this pain could be an indicator of cancer.
Unexplained weight loss
Sudden and dramatic weight loss which occurs even if you are not on a diet, can be linked with serious medical problems like cancer and should be checked out immediately.
Difficulty swallowing may be caused by neck and esophageal cancer.
People who have this symptom usually start eating liquid foods without thinking that there is a more serious problem.
If unexplained bleeding occurs, then visit a doctor.
Bartholomew Bevers says that vaginal bleeding which appears before or after a normal period can be an early sign of cervical cancer and bleeding from the rectum can be caused by colon cancer.
Changes in skin moles
Bartholomew Bevers explains that not all moles can develop into melanoma, but a new mark or the one which has changed its color or shape can be a sign of melanoma so visit your dermatologist.
Out of the 7% of survey respondents who reported a change in a mole, freckle or wart’s appearance, only 47% contacted their doctors.
To make matters even worse, more than 88% didn’t think the symptom was serious, though it could be indicative of skin cancer—many of which are treatable.
The video below gives tips on how to prevent and avoid cancer.
Cancer Preventive Steps:
-Know your body, pay attention to any pain that intensifies, that does not get better with rest, pain relievers, or anti-inflammatory medication and lasts more than two weeks.
-Do not ignore symptoms that do not go away.
-Know that most cancers are picked up when people go to their doctor about new symptoms.
-Any sudden, unintentional weight loss of 10 lb (5 kg) or more needs medical attention.
-Any flu symptoms that do not go away in 2-3 weeks need to be investigated.
-Any unjustified fatigue and weakness that does not get better needs to be investigated.
REMEMBER: Routine tests, although important, do not alone protect you from cancer.
Notice anything that is different, peculiar, or unexplainable happening to your body and see your doctor.