It’s not unusual to notice an unusual pain, bump, or something else on or inside our body and decide that it’s not something we need to worry about. While most of the time it clears up on its own, there are cases where it may require attention. Ignoring these warning signs could be detrimental to our health. It’s always better to err on the side of caution and have a doctor check out these types of issues. Yes, most of the time it will be nothing to worry about, but why take the chance? Some of the following symptoms could be caused by various forms of cancer and are commonly ignored, so be sure to think twice before you decide they are not worth worrying about. Check the symptoms out below:
- BUMPS AND LUMPS
Some people are more prone to having bumps and lumps appear somewhere on their body once in a while but even they should have newly-noticed irregularities checked out. They are often caused by benign cysts or other minor problems, but can also be linked to cancer.
- HOARSENESS OR COUGH
These symptoms are especially easy to ignore if it’s cold and flu season, but a cough caused by a cold or the flu should go away in a short time. A cough that persists or unexplained hoarseness could be a sign of something far more serious like lung cancer. Most people are familiar enough with their body’s reaction to sickness to realise that a cough is lasting longer than it should be.
- BATHROOM HABITS
Again, we’re all familiar with how our bodies normally function and it should not be hard to pick up on changes that have us heading to the bathroom more or less frequently. Another thing you never want to ignore is signs of any blood when you are using the bathroom. That’s something you should talk to your doctor about without delay.
A bit of pain here and there is something we all have to deal with occasionally, especially for people over 40. Unexplained pain is what’s most concerning. When you experience persistent pain and have no idea why it is happening, that’s a sign that a visit to the doctor’s office is in order.
- SORE THROAT
This is another symptom that’s easy to ignore if it’s the time of year when colds and flu are going around. The key concern is a sore throat that is persistent – it lasts longer than you would typically expect. A sore throat is something people may not associate with something particularly dangerous but it can be a symptom of throat cancer.
- WEIGHT LOSS
For some people, this might seem like an unexpected blessing, but it could be the opposite. Dropping five or 10 pounds without trying could be triggered by a thyroid problem – which is also something you should not ignore. But it could also be an early sign of cancer. Losing 10 pounds or more unexpectedly is definitely cause for concern and could be linked to cancer of the stomach, pancreas, oesophagus, or lungs.
- PROBLEMS SWALLOWING
There is more than one cause for this problem and all of them are worth talking to your doctor about. The one people fear the most would be that it is a sign of cancer – in this case, cancer of the oesophagus, throat or stomach.
We all know when we should see blood and when we shouldn’t. It’s those times when it’s unexpected that really gets your attention, and it should. Coughing up blood could be a sign of lung cancer. Any kind of unusual bleeding, no matter where it occurs, should always be discussed with your doctor.
- FRESQUENT FEVERS OR INFECTIONS
Spiking a fever over and over, or going from one infection to the next can indicate an immune system that’s been rendered more susceptible by lymphoma or leukemia.
- SKIN CHANGES
A shift in the appearance of a mole or birthmark should be assessed by a health care provider, either in person or through a video visit. To remember which changes are cause for concern, use this easy mnemonic, ABCDE.
- Asymmetry: One half of the mole or mark doesn’t look like the other.
- Border: The edges are irregular or blurred.
- Color: It’s varied or inconsistent, both black and brown.
- Diameter: It’s larger than the size of a pencil eraser.
- Evolving: This refers to any mole that grows, bleeds or otherwise changes over time.