14 Early Signs and Symptoms of Cancer to Keep in Mind!
As we age, our immune system weakens and we are more vulnerable to symptoms of cancer disease. This is one of the main reasons why diseases such as cancer become more common as we age. Anyone can develop cancer. But how do we know if we have cancer in the first place? Most of us tend to ignore the first symptoms of cancer that our body reveals. Therefore, if you notice something different or unusual in your body at any given time, it would be a good idea to see a doctor immediately. Below are some early signs of cancer that can help you take the first step. These symptoms may or may not mean that you have cancer, but early diagnosis can lead to successful treatment.
1. Fatigue and Weakness:
Fatigue is an extremely general symptom of cancer. Feeling tired does not mean you have cancer – fatigue is related to many chronic diseases. However, with the growth of cancer, you will feel extreme fatigue. If you experience excessive tiredness even after a good night’s sleep or enough rest, consult your doctor immediately.
2. Shortness of Breath:
It is not uncommon to feel out of breath from time to time. But if you notice that you lack more air than normal, consult your doctor. A study indicates that between 50 and 70 percent of all cancer patients have this symptom at some time during their illness. Although many types of cancer cause respiratory distress, it is primarily associated with lung cancer.
3. Heartburn and Indigestion:
It is quite common for mild discomfort or pain to occur after eating a large or fatty meal.
“But if you are experiencing heartburn or indigestion continuously for days, then you should see your doctor immediately”.
Heartburn or indigestion can sometimes be a symptom of cancer. However, remember that these symptoms may also be due to other diseases, viral infections or ulcers.
You don’t have to worry about the swelling that comes and goes. But if you feel bloated for more than three weeks, consult your doctor. Stomach cancer and ovarian cancer are usually associated with vague symptoms such as swelling and indigestion.
5. Hoarse Voice:
Having a hoarse voice can be common during a cold. But a rough and weak voice that has not disappeared in weeks needs to be reviewed. Laryngeal cancer, a form of cancer that affects the vocal cords (glottis), often causes a change in the voice.
6. Stool Loose:
Loose stools and diarrhea are common. But cancer patients can have continuous diarrhea. It is observed that 1 in 10 people suffering from cancer have diarrhea. If you have loose, watery stools and abdominal pain, seek medical attention.
7. Blood in the Stool:
Bladder cancer, intestinal cancer, prostate cancer and tumors are important factors that lead to blood in the urine and feces. Hemorrhoids cause rectal bleeding, but they can also exist with cancer. Therefore, if you have hemorrhoids, have the entire intestinal tract examined. You may also have anemia, a small number of red blood cells, as an indicator of intestinal cancer.
8. Urinary Changes:
If you experience frequent urination, decreased and slow urine flow or any change in bladder function, consult your doctor immediately. These changes may indicate prostate cancer or bladder cancer. Many people with bladder cancer may have blood in their urine and may not experience any pain. Sometimes, bladder and pelvis cancer can also cause irritation of the bladder and urinary tract.
9. Night Sweating:
Night sweats are usually related to infections or as a side effect of certain medications. Women often experience sweating at night during menopause. Therefore, although night sweats are not an exclusive symptom of cancer, it is necessary to be aware of severe night sweats that can soak clothes and sheets. This could be related to a lymphoma.
10. Unexplained Weight Loss:
Most cancer patients will lose weight for no known reason. If you experience an unexplained weight loss of more than 5 kilos, it could possibly be a sign of cancer. This happens mainly with cancers of the pancreas, stomach, esophagus or lungs.
Vaginal bleeding between periods, after sex or after menopause, should be taken seriously. Uterine cancer can cause such abnormal uterine bleeding and this should be treated by your doctor as soon as possible.
12. Difficulty Swallowing:
Consult your doctor as soon as possible if you develop difficulty swallowing and if it does not go away for weeks. Esophageal cancer causes swallowing problems and you will feel as if your food is stuck in your throat or chest.
13. Sores or Ulcers that Do Not Heal:
Human skin repairs quickly, sores and ulcers usually heal within 2 weeks. If you have an open sore or an ulcer that does not heal, bleeds easily and causes exudation, get checked as soon as possible.
14. Prolonged Pain:
Cancer causes pain by destroying healthy tissues. As the cancer progresses, the growth puts pressure on the nerves, bones and organs, which causes pain. If you have unexplained and continuous pain for more than 4 weeks, seek medical help.
How to Reduce the Risk of Cancer?
To begin, it is absolutely important that you maintain a healthy lifestyle at all times. From regular physical exercise to reducing your exposure to environmental toxins such as pollutants and pesticides, you can help yourself in the long term. Also, normalize your vitamin D levels, a popular cancer preventative, through controlled exposure to sunlight and supplements.