While nobody likes contemplating about one’s susceptibility to cancer, but some symptoms must be confronted head-on. According to a report, almost half of cancer patients get diagnosed late. This late diagnosis not only increases the cost of treatment significantly but can also make the entire treatment process much complicated. So, if you’re skeptical, take a look at the list of these telltale symptoms of cancer we have compiled for you. Before you begin, if you end up checking positive for some of these, consult a doctor before panicking.
Men usually tend to ignore lumps in the breast as they do not ever see themselves contracting breast cancer. However, one in 100 breast cancer patients is male, and 2470 men were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017. This type of cancer is diagnosed much later among men. Sanity dictates not to take any chances when it comes to cancer. Early detection is the key here. Thus if you ever find a lump in your chest, rush to your doctor and have it checked. For women susceptive to breast cancer, the more prominent signs and symptoms include lumps, changes in weight and size, dimpling, red rashes, and swelling of lymph nodes. Regular screenings can help early detection.
Cough and breathing difficulty
Dry coughing- if it remains persistent for longer than four weeks, coupled with breathing difficulty, could indicate lung cancer. However, some variants take longer to manifest as a full-blown disease, such as Mesothelioma in the lungs. This is a dangerous and incurable form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos microfibers. Patients typically have a life expectancy of 2 years post-diagnosis. Other symptoms of this cancer may include chest or abdominal pain, fluid buildup, and often misdiagnosis. Regardless, taking precautions and avoiding inhaling known carcinogens can significantly reduce the risk of developing lung cancers and tumors.
Changes in skin texture
Non-healing scaly skin spots that don’t pick off can be signs of early-stage skin cancer, also called actinic keratosis or Squamous cell carcinoma. Some common spots of scaly skin are balding scalps, backs of hands, face, and ears. Patients typically misinterpret these as rashes and do not get the proper treatment in time. Also, you should pay a visit to your doctor if you notice a change in the size, color, and shape of a mole or a spot on your skin. Some recurring or persistent pink or shiny patches or bumps that bleed, then appear to heal and bleed again over some time, could indicate basal skin cancer. Basal skin cancer is the most common form of skin cancer commonly found on the face and upper body, and it can be there for years before you even notice it.
Headaches are a ubiquitous symptom of numerous health conditions and aren’t due to cancer in most cases. But changes in intensity, frequency, and types of headaches should indeed prompt your curiosity and neurological evaluation. A headache can be due to a brain tumor that lasts longer than two weeks and doesn’t respond to your average OTC painkiller. If such is the case, consult your primary care provider ASAP.
Changes in the oral cavity
In comparison to the rest of the body, the mouth performs exceptionally well in healing itself quickly. Thus, any lesion that has been in the mouth for more than a week and refuses to get better should warrant a visit to your dentist, if not a biopsy. Persistent pain areas, sores, or lesions in the mouth, especially among people who excessively smoke and drink, can indicate oral cancer.
Difficulty in urinating
In cases where you feel the urge to urinate but cannot produce a stream or the quantity appears to be lower and darker in color, it could be due to prostate malignancy. The slowing of the urinary stream could be due to an enlarged prostate gland that can compress the urethra. Prostate and urogenital cancers can be easily managed if diagnosed in the early stages. However, this could be fatal if ignored.
Difficulty in swallowing
Some people might have difficulty swallowing from time to time, and this can be due to aging. However, if you experience persistent stomach pain, nausea, constipation, difficulty swallowing for over two weeks, and are also losing weight, your doctor might want to check you for throat and stomach cancer. A throat examination and barium test are required for the diagnosis of this type of cancer.
Blood in urine or stool
Significant changes in bodily functions like bleeding while passing urine or feces are signs of cancer in the bladder, colon, or kidney. It is always a good idea to see your doctor when you notice any abnormal discoloration. Early diagnosis can help to treat the problem as early as possible.
Sudden changes in energy levels that persist for some time, despite the fact you are getting enough sleep and rest, could be an indication of lymphoma or leukemia. Feeling exhausted after a hectic day or activity is normal. Feeling tired all the time to the point it affects your daily life isn’t. While fatigue is a common symptom of medical conditions, an expert opinion wouldn’t hurt.
Weight loss without trying
Though our weight fluctuates all the time, losing a considerable amount of it without putting in any effort is a red flag. Excessive weight loss can be due to many cancers, especially those that have already spread throughout the body. As cancer east away your insides, you drastically lose weight.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Often people detect the condition too late or are unable to seek proper treatment. So, if you experience any or a combination of the signs and symptoms mentioned above for too long, consider consulting your doctor for an expert opinion and get the help you need before it’s too late. Early diagnosis can save you thousands of dollars and help you live a comfortable life.
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