10 Warning Signs Of Cancer In Its Earliest Stages
10 Warning signs of Cancer
Having a persistent cough alone could just be a sign of an upper respiratory illness such as bronchitis or sinusitis, but if it is accompanied by blood-tinged saliva, it might be a sign of cancer. If you notice a small amount of blood in your saliva when you cough, it could be a sign of neck, head, or lung cancer. Seek treatment immediately if you have a nagging cough that lasts more than a month or if blood is present.
Blood In Stool
Blood in your stool might be a sign of an inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. But in some cases, it may also be an indication of colon cancer as tumors may develop in the digestive tract and cause pressure. Hemorrhoids and reoccurring ulcers are also known to cause rectal bleeding, and even though they are very common, you should have a doctor inspect your digestive tract if the bleeding persists to rule out cancer.
Low Blood Count
Unexplained anemia or low blood count may be an indication of an early stage of cancer. Anemia is a condition characterized by a lower than average number of red blood cells in the body. Many distinct causes of anemia exist, such as iron deficiency. Some cancers are known to cause anemia, but bowel cancers are most often associated with iron deficiency anemia. Your doctor may perform an endoscopy, colonoscopy or X-ray of your intestinal tract to rule out cancer.
Approximately ninety percent of men with testicular cancer have a painless or slightly uncomfortable lump on their testicle. Similarly, many breasts cancers are diagnosed by the early detection of a lump on the breast. Other common symptoms include a swollen testicle or discharge from the breast. In most cases, a biopsy of the lump will be taken to rule out cancer. Both men and women should perform regular self-examinations at home to check for lumps.
Changes In Urine
If you notice a sudden shift in the color, frequency or smell of your urine, this may be a sign of bladder cancer. Symptoms may include frequent urination, blood in the urine, slow urine flow, a general change in bladder function or small amounts of urine even with an increased amount of pressure. These changes might be due to a urinary infection or an enlarged prostate gland but should be checked by a doctor immediately to prevent infection or cancer.
Changes In Warts And Moles
If a skin growth of any kind such as a mole or wart has frequent changes such as irregular edges or bleeding, it might be a sign of skin cancer. Larger moles should be checked out by a doctor as they may be more likely than a smaller mole to turn into cancer. Removing a mole is a fairly straightforward process and may prevent the likelihood of the growth developing into cancer and spreading to other parts of the body.
If you start to experience chronic heartburn or difficulty swallowing, this may be a sign of cancer. Barrett’s esophagus is a condition characterized by frequent heartburn and exposure to stomach acid. In rare cases, it may develop into esophageal cancer. Difficulty swallowing should always be checked in elderly patients as nutrition is a vital part of remaining healthy. Esophageal cancer is usually characterized by difficulty in swallowing solids and can be treated with medication or surgery.
Abnormal Vaginal Discharge Or Bleeding
While it is normal for many women to experience spotting between their periods, an unusual amount of blood or discharge may be a sign of cervical cancer. Pain or bleeding while urinating or during intercourse is another sign of cervical cancer. If the bleeding lasts more than two days and is not related to your menstrual cycle, or if you are postmenopausal and experience vaginal bleeding, seek treatment right away. Regular Pap smear examinations can detect early stages of cervical cancer.
Non-healing Sores Or Genital Itching
If you have sore on your skin that will not go away or you experience an itching sensation in your genital area, this may be a sign of precancerous cells. Some precancerous cells may cause discoloration of the skin. Check with your doctor if you have a sore that will not heal to rule out other conditions such as a fungal infection or psoriasis. Also ask your doctor if you have a mouth sore that will not go away, especially if you are a smoker as this may be a sign of mouth cancer.
Persistent Back Or Bone Pain
Back pain can occur for many reasons, but before you rule it out as a daily complication, be sure it is not an indication of cancer by speaking to your doctor. Persistent back pain might be an indication of cancer in the bones of the spine. Unlike daily back pain, cancer pain may cause tenderness or discomfort deep in the bones. Some cancers such as prostate cancer are prone to spreading to the bones. For many cancers, bone pain can be the first indication of a disease.
According to the American Cancer Society, over 1.6 six million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed, and over six hundred thousand cancer-related deaths will occur in the United States alone. Cancer is the leading cause of death in the United States behind heart disease. The good news is that a significant amount of new cancers are treatable if they are caught in their early stages.