For centuries, women have been known to put everyone else before themselves, so when they find they aren’t feeling their best, often those feelings can be ignored. Unfortunately, these symptoms shouldn’t be swept under the rug because they could be warning signs of much bigger problems.
Check out the list below to discover the top 12 warning signs of cancer that women often ignore. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of them, then it’s best to seek medical advice. It’s important to catch cancer in its early stages. It might just save your life.
1. Changes In The Breasts
In many cases, a lump on the breast doesn’t always equate to cancer. But if you do notice a lump on your breast, always consult your doctor.
In addition, if you notice any nipple discharge, nipples turning inward, or any redness or scaling of your nipple, then make sure you make an appointment with your doctor.
Many of these check-ups are not required for all women, but it is recommended that woman over the age of 40 do have an annual mammogram. If you’ve never had one before, then please watch the video below. It will give you an idea of what to expect and walk you through the simple procedure:
2. Changes In The Nails
A small brown verticle stripe on one of your fingernails or toenails could be a sign of melanoma. It’s a myth that skin cancer only occurs in exposed areas, so don’t neglect to check your fingernails for skin underneath that may appear out of the ordinary.
Everyone experiences bloating from time to time. It could simply mean you’ve got to cut back on the burritos and fizzy soda, but if you’re also experiencing weight loss or bleeding, then it’s time to check something more serious isn’t going on.
Constant or frequent bloating can be a sign of colon cancer, ovarian cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, or even pancreatic cancer.
4. Bleeding Between Periods
If you’re spotting between your periods, there are multiple reasons this could be happening. However, it’s best to tell your doctor as he will want to rule out the possibility of endometrial cancer.
What if you’re seeing blood somewhere else…?
5. Blood In The Urine Or Stool
Seeing a bit of blood in your toilet bowl or on your tissue isn’t an immediate cause for concern. It could mean lots of things from simple hemorrhoids to more painful kidney stones. However, if the bleeding is unexplained and lasts for than two days, it could be from undiagnosed colon cancer.
6. Changes In The Lymph Nodes
Your lymph nodes will swell any time they are infected, which includes during the flu or when you’ve got a bout of strep throat, for example. However, if your lymph nodes are swollen for over a month, then it could be a warning sign of leukemia or lymphoma.
7. Can’t Swallow
Trouble swallowing can be a troubling symptom, especially if it coincides with vomiting or weight loss. You could have stomach or throat cancer and need to speak with a medical professional to assess what’s really going on.
8. Unexplained Weight Loss
While many women would love to easily shed a few pounds, it usually takes a lot of hard work and discipline. So if you’ve suddenly slimmed down without dieting or exercise, then it may be time to visit your doctor.
While stress can cause rapid weight loss, so can certain types of cancer such as pancreatic or colon cancer.
This next symptom, we’ve all experienced on occasion…
Plenty of people get heartburn from eating the wrong foods or having too much alcohol, but usually taking an antacid will relieve the discomfort.
It’s best to try and keep your heartburn under control regardless, as constant heartburn will damage the lining of the esophagus, raising the risk of developing throat cancer.
Having a fever for a couple of days when you have the flu is not a cause for concern, but it your fever doesn’t break, then it could mean other things are going on. Leukemia and other blood cancers could be the cause of your high temperature.
11. Changes In The Mouth
If you smoke, examine your mouth for white, yellow, or grey patches. Canker sores can also be a warning sign of oral cancer. It’s always best to keep your regular dental check-ups. It isn’t just your teeth your dentist is examining.
12. A Cough
Normally, having a cough is nothing to worry about, especially when accompanied by the other symptoms of a cold or flu. However, if your cough persists more than a month and you are also a smoker or experiencing shortness of breath, then it’s time to see a doctor.
A persistent cough is often the first and most common symptom of lung cancer.
While speaking to your doctor about any unexplained symptoms is a smart thing to do, it’s also important to keep regular appointments for pap smears, colonoscopies, and mammograms.