The National Cancer Institute reports that an approximately 1,685,210 Americans were diagnosed with cancer in 2016. It has been said that with the reaches of cancer within our country, everyone will be impacted in some way, whether they face the diagnosis of a friend, family member or are diagnosed personally. In fact, they report that 39.6% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime.
Cancer doesn’t discriminate, with Americans of all ages, races, and geographic locations. While we can’t pin point exactly what causes every type of cancer in order to effectively, we can arm ourselves with an in depth understanding of the most common signs and symptoms. This, coupled with knowing and listening to our bodies will empower us to recognize and identify cancer early, increasing our chances of stopping the disease in its tracks.
If you are experiencing any number of these symptoms simultaneously, or have any other reason to believe that you are at risk for cancer, it is recommended that you seek medical attention as soon as possible.
15 Common Early Warning Signs of Cancer Include:
Diarrhea and Loose Stool
Experts say that as many as 1 in 10 cancer patients experience diarrhea, making it a relatively common symptom of a number of different forms of this disease. You should seek medical advice if you find that you are experiencing loose and/or watery stools or abdominal pain for an extended period of time.
Difficulty in your ability to swallow should always be taken seriously. Short-term this may indicate damage to your esophagus or some form of infection. If this continues for weeks, it may indicate esophageal cancer.
Feeling Full or Decreased Ability to Eat
If you notice significant changes in your eating habits, it is important to stop and consider what may be causing it. If you find that you are experiencing a significant decrease in your appetite, feeling full quicker than usual or a decreased ability to eat this may be a sign of ovarian cancer.
Blood in Your Stool or Urine
If you notice blood in either your stool or your urine, you should speak with a medical professional to ensure that you aren’t dealing with anything serious. This may be a sign of bladder cancer, prostate cancer, bowel cancer or tumors. This may also indicate that you have anemia, a reduction in the number of red blood cells, which is an indicator of bowel cancer.
Lasting Sores or Ulcers
When we develop sores or ulcers, the human body is designed to recognize and trigger the healing process. If this healing doesn’t occur and the open sore or ulcer lasts longer than 2 weeks, then this is an indication that something is not operating correctly within the body. Signs of oozing or bleeding easily are also important warning signs to pay attention to.
Heartburn and Indigestion
Both heartburn and indigestions are relatively common problems, particularly after eating a large meal, or something that is overly fatty in nature. These symptoms become a point of concern when they occur continuously for days on end.
Changes in Urinary Habits
Anytime that you are experiencing a change in your regular urinary habits, this indicates that something within your body has changed. This includes frequent urination, low or slow urine flow, or feelings of sudden urgency. This may be a sign of either prostate or bladder cancer.
Croaky or Raspy Voice
Experiencing a hoarse voice is likely nothing new, a common occurrence with a number of cold type bugs and infections, however, if you notice that it is continuing for weeks and your usual go to solutions aren’t working, this may be a sign of Laryngeal cancer.
If you are experiencing sweating during the night this may be due to a reaction to specific medications or as a result of some form of infection within the body. If, however, your sweating becomes severe, to the point of drenching your sheets and clothing, this may indicate lymphoma.
Feelings of Weakness and Fatigue
While fatigue is a symptom that can be associated with a number of different diseases and illnesses, when it is associated with cancer it is extreme and is generally combined with a number of the other listed symptoms.
Unexplained Weight Loss
An incredibly common symptom of a number of cancers, including esophagus, pancreas, lung and stomach cancers, if you experience the loss of 10 lbs or more without any change in your lifestyle or eating habits you should speak with a medical professional.
When you are physically exerting yourself, it is not uncommon to find yourself feeling breathless, however, if you notice that this is coming on more often or with less activity than usual it may be a sign of something bigger. Experts say that approximately 50-70% of all cancer patients report this symptom.
Bloating that comes and goes may simply be due to a diet trigger, however, if you experience bloating that remains for a period of 3 or more weeks this may be a warning sign of stomach or ovarian cancer.
When cancer is developing within the body it begins to destroy the healthy tissues. As it continues to grow, tumor and cancerous growths can put pressure on various parts of the body such as the bones, organs, and nerves causing ongoing pain and discomfort.
Vaginal Bleeding Between Periods
If you are experiencing any bleeding between periods, post-menopause or after having sex, this indicates that something is wrong and should be looked at by a medical professional. This could indicate uterine cancer.