In order to detect cancer, you shouldn’t rely solely on routine tests. You should also listen to your body and try to notice the following signs:
1. Wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath
The inability to catch your breath is one of the first sure signs of lung cancer.
2. Chronic cough or chest pain
Some types of cancers such as lung cancer and leukemia cause symptoms similar to bronchitis. According to lung cancer patients, chest pain can be felt all the way up into the shoulder or down to the arm.
3. Frequent fever and infections
If you’re suffering from fever and infections often, you may be suffering from leukemia. Leukemia causes your bone marrow to produce abnormal white blood cells and impairs your body’s ability to fight infections.
4. Swollen lymph nodes on the neck, underarm and groin
Swollen lymph nodes are usually a sign of something wrong with the lymphatic system, which may or may not be cancer.
5. Difficulty swallowing
This problem is usually related to esophageal or throat cancer, but can also be an indication of lung cancer as well.
6. Weakness and fatigue
General fatigue and weakness is a symptom of different types of cancers that needs to be looked at in combination with other symptoms. Whenever you’re feeling exhausted without an apparent reason, visit your doctor for an exam.
7. Excessive bruising or bleeding that doesn’t stop
This symptom tells you that there’s something abnormal with your blood platelets and red blood cells which can be a sign of leukemia. Over time, leukemia cells crowd out the red blood cells and platelets, harming your body’s ability to carry oxygen and clot properly.
8. Bloating or abdominal weight gain
If you have been gaining weight or suffering from constant bloating over a longer period, it may be an indication of ovarian cancer.
9. Feeling full and being unable to eat
This is another symptom of ovarian cancer. Women who have suffered from the disease have reported feeling full shortly after a meal and loss of appetite as well.
10. Rectal bleeding
If you notice blood in your stool, you should schedule a colonoscopy immediately as it may be a sign of colorectal cancer.
11. Pelvic or abdominal pain
Pain and cramps in the pelvis and abdomen along with bloating is a serious indication of ovarian cancer. Leukemia can also cause abdominal pain as a result of enlarged spleen.
12. Sudden weight loss
Weight loss is usually a sign of colon or other digestive cancers, but it’s also a sign that the cancer has spread to the liver, affecting your appetite and your body’s ability to get rid of waste materials.
13. Red, sore or swollen breast
This symptom usually indicates inflammatory breast cancer. If you notice any changes to your breasts, you should visit a doctor immediately.
14. Upset stomach or stomachache
Frequent stomach upsets and cramps can be a symptom of colorectal cancer.
15. Nipple changes
Women diagnosed with breast cancer say that the first sign of the disease were flattened, inverted and turned nipples.
16. Heavy or painful period; bleeding between periods
This is a symptom of uterine cancer – if you notice it, you should get a transvaginal ultrasound exam to detect the disease.
17. Swelling in the face
Patients diagnosed with lung cancer have reported puffiness, swelling and redness in the face due to the occurrence of small lung tumors that block blood vessels in the chest. This prevents the blood from flowing to the head and face and causes the symptoms.
18. Sore skin lumps that don’t heal and bleed easily
There are different types of skin cancer – melanoma, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. You should always be on the lookout for any unusual growths or spots on your skin.
19. Nail changes
Unexpected nail changes can be a symptom of different types of cancer – a brown or black streak under the nail can be a sign of skin cancer, while a new “clubbing” (enlargement of the ends of fingers with nail curving over the tips) may indicate lung cancer. Pale and white nails are often a sign of liver cancer.
20. Pain in the back or lower right side
Experts explain that this kind of pain is often the first sign of liver cancer. Back pain can also be caused by breast cancer which occurs when a tumor presses backwards into the chest, or in some cases, when the cancer has spread to the spine or ribs.