One of the best ways to combat cancer is to catch it in its early stages. This involves you knowing your body and knowing the symptoms of this deadly disease. There are over 200 different forms of cancer, each with their own unique symptoms, but there are also key signs and symptoms that most cancers have in common that you should know about.
Symptoms in the Mouth
Ulcers in the mouth are common and usually benign. They tend to occur when people feel under the weather and go away within two weeks . However, if you have an ulcer that lasts more than three weeks without healing, whether it hurts or not, this may be cause for concern.
Also, if you notice a red or white patch in your mouth or an unexplained pain in your mouth or ear, this may be a symptom of cancer.
If you notice any of these signs, make sure to see your doctor or dentist. Dentists can check the parts of your mouth that you can’t see, so it is important to visit them regularly.
Symptoms in the Throat and Neck
Women are told to check for breast cancer by feeling around for lumps, but lumps, specifically those that last for more than three weeks, are a sign of cancer that can appear in the throat as well. Lumps or swelling in the throat, whether they hurt or not, can be an indication of several types of cancer including lymphoma or cancers in the head.
A croaky voice, though usually nothing to worry about, may be a symptom of cancer on the voice box or larynx. Get this checked out if your croaky voice hasn’t gone away after three weeks, especially if you’re a smoker or have smoked in the past.
Other signs in the throat and neck that may be caused by cancer include difficulty swallowing, persistent vomiting, coughing up blood or having a cough that won’t go away.
Symptoms in the Breast and Chest
As mentioned earlier, lumps in the breast are a key sign of cancer. Other signs include a change in the size, shape, look or feel of the breasts, any puckering, dimpling or redness of the skin on the breasts, change in the position of the nipple, a rash or nipple discharge, or pain or discomfort in one breast.
Symptoms in the Stomach and Abdomen
We can fluctuate in weight for a variety of reasons: stress, changes in diet, sleeping patterns etc. But an unexplained, significant amount of weight loss can be a sign of cancer that you don’t want to ignore.
You should be alert if you’re experiencing persistent indigestion and bloating. Persistent indigestion could be a sign of stomach cancer, and persistent indigestion could be a sign of ovarian cancer. Also, pay attention to pelvic or tummy pain, increased tummy size, or difficulty eating or feeling full quickly.
Genitals and Groin
Problems passing urine, blood in your urine, a sore that hasn’t healed after several weeks, and unusual bleeding, lumps or swelling in the genital area are all possible symptoms of cancer.
If you notice any of these symptoms, make sure to see your doctor.