In 2018, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) estimated that there were over 17 million new patients diagnosed with cancer. The most alarming part is that there were almost 10 million deaths worldwide due to this sickness. With this data alone, you can tell that cancer, indeed, is one of the leading causes of death across the globe.
The tricky part is, some types of cancer are not noticeable in their earlier stages. Or, some of the signs are the same as that of other diseases. This is why it is crucial that you go for a regular checkup. Also, you must be aware of the symptoms that you should never attempt to ignore, which include:
Cough is a common symptom of pneumonia, bronchitis, sinusitis, tuberculosis, and other respiratory tract infections that can be treated by taking antibiotics. However, if you have been persistently coughing and it is not improving at all despite the medications that you are taking, it could be a sign that you have lung, head, or neck cancer. More so if you see blood in your mucus.
A Shift in Bowel Habits
Have you been suffering from diarrhea or constipation for the longest time? If so, then you need to see your doctor immediately since changes in bowel habits are obvious signs of colon or even ovarian cancer.
Changes in Urination
Changes in your bladder function, such as difficulty in urinating accompanied by pain, frequent urination, or small amounts of urine as well as dark-colored urine could mean cancer of the bladder, prostate in men, kidney, liver, or pancreas.
Blood in the Stool
Rectal bleeding is the most common symptom of hemorrhoids. However, you should never fail to see your doctor if you have blood in your stool as this could also mean cancer. X-ray studies and colonoscopy can be done to have a better understanding of what’s causing the bleeding.
Sudden Low Blood Count
If the number of your red blood cells is lower than normal, that condition is called anemia, which is something that you should never neglect as well. You will have to undergo endoscopy that will help evaluate if you have bowel cancer or not.
Lumps or bumps do not always mean cancer. But if you have suspicious lumps in your breast, neck, testicles, or other parts of your body, it won’t hurt to visit your doctor.
If your body is unable to break down bile, your skin and eyes will become yellowish, which, in medical term, is called jaundice. This is a symptom of a possible cancer of the pancreas, gallbladder, and liver.
Changes in a Wart or Mole
If you have warts, moles, or even freckles, and you see that their appearances have changed, you better check with a dermatologist since that could be a sign of melanoma.
Severe Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain can be caused by a lot of things. But if the pain is severe and it doesn’t go away, have yourself checked by a medical professional right away. It could be a cause of indigestion or just cramps, but it is also a possible sign of various cancers like that of the testicles, colon, liver, pancreas, or esophagus. It could also be leukemia.
It is hard to determine the difference between a common headache or migraine and headaches caused by cancer. But if you are constantly experiencing a throbbing headache, it is highly recommended that you consult a doctor. Persistent headache is one of the signs of brain cancer.
Looking at your stomach, does it look like it’s getting bigger? You may think that you are just gaining weight. But if you observe that your legs and arms are actually losing weight while your tummy looks bloated, that could mean a different story. It could be a cause of certain types of cancer.
For women, abnormal bleeding is something that should never be ignored. This could be a symptom of problems with the uterus, cervix, or ovaries.
Cancer can cause lethargy, fatigue, or weakness too. So if you notice that you don’t have the energy most of the time, it would be a good idea to go for a checkup. This is one of the most common symptoms of cancer as the cancer cells start to take their toll on your body.
Unexplained Weight Loss
As cancer affects your body, you will soon see a significant drop in your weight. Therefore, if you see a surprising reduction in your weight and you are not trying to shed pounds, do not hesitate to go to your doctor.
Shortness of Breath
Shortness of breath could be something that you should not be worried about. Maybe you are just tired. However, you should know that this could also be a way of your body telling you that there’s something wrong. This could be a sign of lung cancer.