Cancer denotes the growth of typical cells that multiply overpoweringly and have the ability to penetrate and destroy normal body tissues. Cancer often has the risk of spreading throughout your body.
Cancer is known to be the second-leading cause of death across the world. But today, survival rates are improving for many types of cancer, thanks to improvements in cancer screening and cancer treatment.
Here are some symptoms that can reflect an underlying cancer and need to be checked out by a doctor
1) Changes in Your Skin
A new blemish on your skin or one that fluctuates in size, shape, or colour could be a sign of skin cancer. Another is a spot that doesn’t look the same as all the others on your body. If you have any strange marks, check with a doctor immediately. The doctor will perform a biopsy if required, to diagnose if the cells are cancerous or non-cancerous.
2) Nagging Cough
For a non-smoker, there is very little chance that a persistent cough is a sign of cancer. Usually, it is caused by Upper Airway Cough Syndrome (UACS), asthma, acid reflux, or an infection. But if the cough does not subside or you cough up blood especially if you are a smoker, consult a doctor right away, who may test the mucus from your lungs or perform a chest X-ray to check for lung cancer.
3) Breast Changes
Most breast changes are not cancer. It is still imperative to communicate to your doctor about them and have it checked out. Let your doctor know about any lumps, changes to the nipple or discharge, redness or thickening or pain in your breasts. The doctor will perform an exam and may suggest a mammogram, MRI or maybe a biopsy.
You may have a full, bloated sensation due to your diet or even stress. But if it does not get better or you have fatigue, weight loss, or back pain, consult a doctor immediately. Persistent bloating in women may be a sign of ovarian cancer. The doctor can perform a pelvic examination to look for the cause.
5) Problems you pass urine
Many men have urinary concerns as they age, like the need to urinate more often, leaks, or passing a frail stream. Usually, these are symptoms of an enlarged prostate, but in some cases can be the signs of prostate cancer. Consult the doctor and address the issue immediately to avoid complications.
6) Swollen Lymph Nodes
Lymph nodes are small, oval-shaped organs that comprise of immune cells that attack and kill foreign raiders, such as viruses and bacteria. Swollen lymph nodes often mean that the body is fighting an infection like a common cold or a throat infection. However some cancers like lymphoma and leukaemia also cause swelling of the lymph nodes. Consult a specialist immediately to identify the underlying cause of the persistent swollen lymph node.
7) Testicle Changes
If you see or feel a bulge or swelling in your testicles you need to consult a doctor right away. A painless lump is the most usual sign of testicular cancer. Sometimes a man may just have a heavy sensation in his lower belly or scrotum or think his testicles feel larger than usual. The doctor will do a physical examination of the area and may also order an ultrasound scan to see if there is a tumor or any other cause of concern.
8) Trouble Swallowing
The common cold, acid reflux, or even some medication can make swallowing difficult occasionally. If it does not get better with time or with medication, consult a doctor right away. Trouble swallowing can also be a sign of cancer in your throat or the oesophagus. The doctor will perform some tests like a barium X-ray, in which you swallow a fluid to help visibility of the throat on the image.
9) Unusual Vaginal Bleeding
Bleeding that is not part of your menstrual cycle can be a cause of concern due to fibroids or birth control pills. Inform your gynaecologist if there is infrequent bleeding between the periods cycle, post sex or along with pain, fatigue or fever. The doctor will want to conduct some tests such as an ultrasound scan to rule out the possibility of cancer of the uterus or cervix.
10) Mouth Issues
From foul-smelling breath to cold sores, most changes in your mouth are not serious. But if you have a lump in your cheek, trouble moving your jaw, pain in the mouth or white/red spots or sores in your mouth that do not heal after a couple of weeks especially if you smoke or chew tobacco, consult a doctor right away as it could be a sign of oral cancer.
11) Weight Loss
Weight loss can occur if there is a change in the lifestyle habits such as modification in daily diet or inclusion of an exercise regime. Weight loss can also occur due to other factors related to stress or hormonal imbalance such as thyroid problems. If you experience sudden weight loss without any of the mentioned above aspects, consult a doctor as it could be the sign of cancer in the stomach, pancreas or any other type of cancer
12) Heartburn or Indigestion
Everyone has this burning or gassy feeling sometimes, often because of lifestyle factors such as irregular food habits or stress levels. If indigestion continues even after rectifying bad lifestyle habits, your doctor may want to do some tests to identify and analyse the root cause and rule out the possibility of stomach cancer.
Fatigue can be described as largely a feeling of exhaustion or want of energy. Fatigue can also be an early sign of cancers such as leukaemia, stomach or colon cancer which causes blood loss and weight loss making you feel tired and exhausted. Consult a specialist and get the possibilities of cancer ruled out in case of chronic fatigue.
Treating cancer at an early stage can save life. Do not ignore the above symptoms, consult a doctor to know the real problem behind them.