Cancer usually doesn’t have specific symptoms, so it becomes important for people to limit the associated risk factors by undergoing appropriate cancer screening. Most cancer screening is age specific and associated doctors know better what screening should be performed as per your age. People with related risk factors of cancer (for instance, smokers, alcoholics, high sun exposure, and genetics) must be aware about the potential cancer symptoms and should get evaluated by a physician from time to time. One of the best ways of fighting cancer is by prevention (elimination or decreased risk factors) as well as early detection.
Cancer treatment generally advances year by year and early detection has made cancers treatable. Most people get no associated symptoms or early signs to exclusively indicate this disease. Some cancers are frequent in certain age groups. If you notice certain symptoms, however, you must see a doctor for further evaluation. Some common symptoms that you should never ignore are as follows:
Persistent cough or blood-tinged saliva
Persistent cough generally represents some simple infections like bronchitis and sinusitis. But they can be early symptoms of lung cancer, head cancer as well as neck cancer. A person with cough which lasts for a month or more along with some blood in the mucus should definitely see a doctor at least once and should not take this lightly.
If your cough is not going away after repeated medications, you should go for full cancer screening and ensure that you do not have any form of cancer. Cancer is best treated when detected early so regular checkups will ensure you are aware of your medical condition.
A change in bowel habits
General changes with bowel habits can be related with your diet as well as your fluid intake. Doctors have even seen pencil-thin stools as a symptom of colon cancer. Apart from this colon cancer shows up with some continuous diarrhoea.
If there is a change in your bowel habits of late, you should take the time out to understand why this is happening. If you had made some any drastic changes to your diet, discontinue the changes and consult a dietician before including any new foods in your daily diet.
Blood in the stool
Doctor always recommends to get investigated if you get blood in your stool. Hemorrhoids can cause rectal bleeding, but as hemorrhoids are so common, they can even exist with cancer.
Therefore, even if you are suffering from hemorrhoids, get examined by a doctor with your entire intestinal tract in case you have blood within your bowel movements. For this even X-ray studies might be enough for clarifying the diagnosis.
Unexplained anemia (low blood count)
Anemia can be considered as a condition in which people have fewer red blood cells than the expected number in their blood. It is always suggested to get investigated if suffering from Anemia. There exists different types of anemia, but blood loss can result in iron deficiency anemia. Until there is an obvious and specific source for blood loss, anemia needs an appropriate explanation.
Breast lump or breast discharge
Most breast lumps can result in noncancerous tumors like fibroadenomas or might be cysts. But still breast lumps definitely needs thorough investigation because there is possibility of breast cancer. Just a negative mammogram can never be sufficient for evaluating a breast lump. Your doctor should perform the appropriate X-ray study which even includes an MRI along with an ultrasound of the breast.
Lumps in the testicles
Most men actually in 90% cases who are diagnosed with cancer of the testicle suffer from painless as well as uncomfortable lump on a testicle. Some men notice enlarged testicle as a symptom. Apart from this other conditions can be noticed such as infections along with swollen veins can even cause a few changes in your testicles, but if there is any lump then you should get evaluated as soon as possible.
A change in urination
Urinary symptoms include frequent urination, passing small amounts of urine, as well as slow urine flow and even minute change within the bladder function. Such symptoms can be due to some urinary infections (generally in women) or due to an enlarged prostate gland in men. If cancer is suspected, you must go through a biopsy. Apart from this Cancer of the bladder and pelvic tumors can also result in such urine related symptoms.
Blood in the urine
Hematuria or blood in urine can be because of a urinary infection, kidney stones, or might have other causes too. The blood could be visible by you or could be found in a urine examination (microscopic hematuria). It can be due to cancer in bladder or kidney. Thus, it is suggested to get diagnosed.
Hoarseness which isn’t caused by a respiratory infection or has lasted for three to four weeks must be evaluated. Hoarseness can be due to some simple allergy or because of vocal cord polyps, but apart from this, it can be very first sign of throat cancer.
If you have been smoking for a long time and the hoarseness has developed of late, you need to be careful. This could be a sign of lung or throat cancer which has a direct co-relation to smoking.
Persistent lumps or swollen glands
Lumps usually represent some harmless conditions like a benign cyst. Any new lump that you notice or even a lump that won’t go away must be examined by a doctor. As lumps even represents a cancer or the swollen lymph gland which might be related to cancer. Apart from this Lymph nodes can get swollen due to infection and might be other causes and can take weeks to shrink again.
Obvious change in a wart or a mole
Multi colored moles having irregular edges or which bleeds could be cancerous. Typically larger moles are considered to be more worrisome and need immediate evaluation, especially if you notice them getting enlarged. Removal of a mole is generally a simple process. You should consult your doctor for evaluating any suspicious mole for the removal process. The doctor will further send it for required examination under a microscope for skin cancer.
Indigestion or difficulty swallowing
Most people who suffer from chronic heartburn generally do not have serious problems. People who suffer from chronic symptoms even after using regular antacids might need to go through an upper GI endoscopy. A specific condition called Barrett esophagus that can lead to cancer of the esophagus, could be the reason for this. And could be treated with proper medication and has to be monitored by a doctor.