16 Cancer Symptoms You Shouldn't Ignore

Cancer is the second leading cause of death. It is more curable when detected earlier. Although some cancers develop completely without signs, some do have symptoms you are likely to ignore.

1. Unexplained Weight Loss

Weight loss for unknown reasons, not through changes in diet or exercise is a common sign of cancers related to lung, stomach or pancreas.

2. Fever

Fever may be a sign of early cancer in the blood such as lymphoma or leukemia. Fever may also indicate colon and kidney cancer at an early stage.

3. Unusual Bleeding

Coughing up blood may be a sign of lung cancer. Blood in the stool or urine can forecast colon cancer or kidney or bladder cancer. A bloody discharge from the nipple can indicate breast cancer.

4. Skin Changes

Any freckle, mole or wart that changes color, shape, or size should be examined for skin cancer. Besides, darker looking skin, reddened skin, itching, yellowish eyes, and skin may also be linked to cancers.

5. Difficulty Swallowing

Mouth or throat cancers can make the swallowing difficult. It's also a common sign of various head and neck cancers such as esophageal, oropharyngeal cancer, thyroid, and laryngeal cancers.

6. Lump

A lump that is usually hard, not painful, irregularly shaped or firmly attached deep in the soft tissue or under the skin is often caused by cancer.

7. Shortness of Breath

Cancer in or near the lungs may cause a blockage of the tubes that carry air. Breathlessness is also common with breast cancer tumors, ovarian or liver cancer.

8. Heartburn

Heartburn that doesn't go away or gets worse could mean cancer of the throat, stomach, or ovaries. Excessive food, alcohol, or stress can cause serious heartburn.

9. Fatigue

Extreme fatigue that cannot get better with rest can be a symptom of several cancer types such as colon cancer, stomach cancer or leukemia.

10. Pain

Sometimes bone cancer or testicular cancer can cause pain. A headache that doesn't get better after a long-time treatment may be a symptom of a brain tumor. Back pain may be a sign of cancer in the ovary or colon.

11. Change in Bowel or Bladder Habits

Long-term diarrhea, constipation or a change in the size of the stool can be a symptom of rectal or colon cancer. Pain when passing or blood in urine can be related to bladder or prostate cancer.

12. Nagging Cough

More than half of people who have a cough that just wouldn't go away are diagnosed with lung cancer. Excessive coughing is also common signs of laryngeal and thyroid cancer.

13. White Patches Inside the Mouth

White patches inside the mouth can be leukoplakia, which is pre-cancerous and can become mouth cancer if it's not treated early.

14. Belly Pain and Depression

It rarely happens, but belly pain plus depression can be a sign of pancreatic cancer. But you don’t need to worry unless this disease runs deep in your family.

15. Continued Itching

Precancerous conditions of the genital or anal areas can cause persistent itching. If the itching continues with over-the-counter topical medications, consult your doctor.

16. Non-healing Sores

Common sores usually heal quickly. If you have persistent sores in areas like your mouth, you may have cancer and should raise concerns and see a doctor.

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