Most of us know to check for strange moles and breast lumps and to see a doctor about unexplained weight loss or fatigue. Unfortunately, not all cancer warning signs are so obvious. How many red flags do you know to watch out for?
Cancer has a broad range of symptoms, but some red flags are easier to identify than others. Hoarseness or cough, nausea, changes to skin texture or color, changes in vaginal discharge, painful intercourse and night sweats can all be symptoms.
Make Sure You’re Familiar with These Cancer Warning Signs.
Hoarseness or Cough
A cough or scratchy throat is usually the result of allergies or a viral infection, but when it won’t let up, it could be a sign of cancer in the lungs or throat. Lung cancer can cause shortness of breath, chest pain, headache and bloody sputum. Sore throat, ear pain, difficulties swallowing and changes in the sound of your voice can indicate throat cancer. People with GERD or HPV infections are at highest risk, as are smokers and heavy drinkers.
Nausea can have numerous causes – -food poisoning, for example — but most are self-limiting and produce more misery than anything else. Some forms of cancer, especially those affecting the stomach and liver, can cause chronic nausea, sometimes accompanied by vomiting. Both can also cause notable stomach pain.
Any changes to the color or consistency of your skin, including hard bumps just beneath the surface, could indicate skin cancer. Most of us know to check moles and dark spots for melanoma, but it’s important to know skin cancer can also appear as crusty lesions and skin-colored nodules. If in doubt, have a dermatologist check it out.
Some types of skin changes can occur with breast cancer. Symptoms to watch out for include flaking or scaling of skin near the nipple and pitting or dimpling in skin covering the breast. The skin may also become inflamed, red or thickened.
Cervical cancer can cause seemingly random vaginal bleeding. Sometimes sufferers will notice they bleed after intercourse, which can become painful. Cervical cancer can also cause a foul-smelling, sometimes bloody, discharge.
Nights sweats can come alongside any number of illnesses, but they can also be red flags for leukemia, lymphoma, and certain types of tumors. Other medical conditions can cause night sweats, as can some medications, so you’ll want to rule out all potential causes.
Most cancer symptoms can cross over with those of other illnesses, so see your doctor when any new or unusual symptoms crop up. You know your body best, and you know what’s normal for you. Make sure you’re listening to what your it’s trying to tell you.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Ascension!
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