The word “cancer” is terrifying, but it’s hopeful to know that early detection can lead to increased survival. Over 140 million Americans will get cancer in their lifetimes, but early detection can lead to better treatment and boosts one’s chance of a cure. That’s why it’s so important to be in tune with your body and regularly check for early symptoms that you might have the disease. In this way, checking your body for signs of cancer can form part of your self-care goals. You’re looking after yourself and increasing your longevity.
Cancer is not always easy to spot. Although it might present with a bump or lump, such as in the thyroid or breast, these are not the only symptoms to look out for. Sometimes, cancer in one part of the body won’t show up there. An example is pancreatic cancer. It will show symptoms when the cancer’s big enough to press on other organs, so an early symptom could be pain in the belly or back. However, there are some early, general signs that something’s wrong with your body and the cause could be cancer. Here’s a rundown of the most common symptoms associated with cancer. While it’s important to realize that these symptoms could be something else, it’s always worth checking with your doctor if they persist so that you can get the proper treatment.
Losing Weight Without Trying
If you’re not on a diet but you’re losing weight, this could be a sign of various illnesses, such as diabetes. However, it could also be a sign of cancer in the body. Unexplained weight loss is a common symptom of cancers of the stomach, esophagus, pancreas, and lung.
If you feel fatigued even when you’ve got a good night’s sleep, and this is a regular occurrence, cancer could be to blame. Fatigue is usually an early symptom of cancer such as leukemia, but it can also present with colon or stomach cancers that cause a loss of blood which goes unnoticed.
Skin cancer will obviously show up as changes to the skin, such as a sore that doesn’t heal or a mole that’s undergone changes in color. However, skin changes can also be a symptom of other cancers. Rippling or dimpling of the skin can signal breast cancer, for instance, while reddened skin can be a symptom of lung cancer, especially when it’s combined with difficulty breathing or a faster heart rate.
Changes In Bowel Movements
Diarrhea and constipation can arise from a variety of things, such as diet, but if they persist they can be a symptom of various cancers. An example is ovarian cancer, which might also present with bloating and gas. Colon and rectal cancer are also marked by changes in bowel movements, especially if they occur suddenly and persist.
Although there are many symptoms that can signal cancer in the body, the important thing is to note any changes that aren’t normal for you. Whether it’s changes to your skin, energy levels, or bowel habits, anything that doesn’t go back to normal after a few days is worth checking with your primary caregiver.
About the Author: Chrissy Rose is a Content Manager and is working to build one of the best senior resource sites.