Top 6 Cancer Signs Many Women Miss

Young woman with handkerchief having  cold. Isolated.

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Unfortunately, many different types of cancer are not discovered until they are in an advanced state and it’s too late. There are several early signs that many women overlook or don’t take seriously. If you know some of the signs to watch out for, you can greatly increase your odds of surviving.

Many early signs of cancer are often attributed to much more common illnesses, for example, a sore throat is generally a sign of a cold or flu virus or a bacterial infection, not cancer. However, it can be an early sign of some type of oral cancer. Any symptom that lasts for more than two weeks should be reported to your health care professional. Even if it’s not cancer, after that length of time it needs to be checked out and treated.

Here are the top 6 signs many women overlook but could signal the early stages of cancer.


1. Fever

Fevers, even low grade fevers of 100 degrees, that last for long periods of time or reoccur frequently with no other symptoms that might indicate flu such as coughing or congestion, could possibly be a sign of leukemia. Leukemia causes the bone marrow to produce abnormal white blood cells. These abnormal white cells, over time, crowd out the healthy ones and make them less effective at fighting infections.  Infections frequently cause fevers.


2.  Pain and Swelling

Lymph nodes under the arms, in the groin area, or around the neck that are swollen or painful should be looked at by a physician as these are signs your body is fighting an infection. Swollen lumps with no pain are possibly signs of leukemia while painful lumps in the armpit might be the first sign of breast cancer. Any lumps that have either pain, swelling, or both, that don’t go away within two weeks should be discussed with your doctor.

Also, swollen, red, painful, or tender breasts are another possible sign of breast cancer. Any unusual changes to your breasts including a purplish discoloration, a turning of the nipple, hot or irritated breasts should also be checked out by your doctor. Read more about 10 simple ways to reduce your risk of breast cancer.


3. Changes in Skin or Nails

Dark spots, moles, or birthmarks that change color (for example from light brown to black or reddish) or shape, especially an irregular shape, are possible signs of skin cancer. Sores that don’t heal or continue to bleed are also possible signs of skin cancer. Discovering skin cancer early makes it easy to treat. Melanoma is one of the most deadly cancers because it often spreads to other parts of the body, unseen, until it is too late. Detected early, it has a 95-98 per cent survival rate.

Dark colored dots or streaks in your toenails or fingernails, or cracks that run lengthwise, are sometimes signals that there is skin cancer underneath the nail. White spots are normal, but if you notice finger or toenails that turn down over the tip could be a sign of lung cancer.

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