10 Symptoms of Cancer You Might Overlook
Northern Early on, one in three people in the United States will develop cancer in their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. With such a staggering number, it’s hard not to wonder if you or a loved one will be affected by the disease in some way. However, before jumping to conclusions, it is important to remember that not all subtle or common symptoms are a sign of a malignancy. Many, in fact, are caused by less serious conditions. However, when cancer is the culprit, it is essential to detect the signs and seek treatment as soon as possible, when the disease has more treatment options and better outcomes.
Most of us are aware of the common and high-risk lifestyle choices that increase the risk of some cancers, such as tobacco use, poor diet, or lack of physical activity. While it is important to avoid these risk factors, it is also essential to pay attention to the indicators in your body that can transmit potential health problems. Although they may surface without threat, you should know that some symptoms, when prolonged, can be a sign of a serious health problem. Knowing your body, monitoring your health, and taking action when known symptoms persist for more than two weeks can make a big difference in detecting cancer in its early stages.
In my experience, the 10 main cancer symptoms that people often overlook include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Fever of unknown origin.
- night sweats
- New or unexplained pain
- Persistent heartburn
- Sores in the mouth or tongue that do not heal
- Irregular bowel patterns
- unexplained lumps
- Difficulty swallowing
These symptoms are often misidentified because they are not specific to cancer and therefore can be attributed to other health problems. For example, a person who suffers from irritable bowel syndrome and regularly suffers from an irregular bowel pattern does not necessarily assume that their symptoms could be a sign of colorectal cancer. Also, common symptoms of ovarian cancer are bloating and a feeling of fullness after a few bites of food, but many women can attribute fluid buildup or bloating to normal weight gain. For these reasons, it is important to know the symptoms that may indicate more than one health problem.
Here are the main instructions: If you have any of these symptoms for more than two weeks, you should make an appointment with your primary care physician to discuss what you’re experiencing. This way, your doctor can help you better understand what your symptoms mean, and possibly diagnose your symptoms correctly and keep monitoring for problems, or refer you to a specialist. When it comes to cancer prevention, you are your best advocate.
Learn more about the symptoms of cancer.