Top 6 Cancer Signs Many Women Miss

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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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4.  Stomach Problems

A sudden, unintentional loss of weight is a common symptom of several types of cancer. While there might be many other causes for weight loss, you should have your physician check out the symptom.

Also, chronic stomach cramps, a stomach ache or pain, or a constantly upset stomach are symptoms of liver, colon, or pancreatic cancer. Now these types of digestive or stomach problems are often caused by far less serious conditions, but if these types of symptoms last more than two weeks, you should report them to your doctor. Find out how to fight cancer with mistletoe extract.


5. Breathing or Swallowing Difficulties

Wheezing sounds when breathing or a distinct shortness of breath are sometimes early signs of lung cancer. Many lung cancer patients often describe these asthma-like symptoms doing common, every day activities they never had problems with before.

A chronic cough, especially a cough with chest pain similar to bronchitis is sometimes a sign of several different cancers, including leukemia or tumors in the lungs.

Difficulty swallowing or a constant (or nearly constant) feeling that you need to clear your throat could be a sign of throat cancer or cancer of the esophagus. Some people report an unusual sense of pressure, or obstruction in the throat when swallowing.


SEE ALSO: Top 12 Ways to Make Your Home a Cancer Free Zone

6. Bleeding that is not normal

Unusual bleeding, even if it doesn’t last long, should be reported to your doctor, especially if you are over the age of 50. Abnormal bleeding or excessive bruising is another sign of leukemia. Gums that bleed frequently or profusely, or bruising at the fingertips can mean that blood isn’t properly clotting, which is a sign of leukemia.

Although many women dismiss rectal bleeding as hemorrhoids, doctors consider any blood in the toilet or in your stool a serious matter. Blood in your bowel movements is a possible symptom of colon cancer. Discuss this with your doctor right away. You will have peace of mind should you discover it’s nothing more than an irritated hemorrhoid.

Unusual vaginal bleeding, such as bleeding after having sex or bleeding between your periods, has been linked to both cervical cancer and uterine cancer. Any unusual vaginal bleeding should always be discussed with your OBGYN.

Don’t forget, doctors will often overlook a cancer diagnosis, especially in women under 50 years of age. If you have symptoms that are persistent, make sure your doctor addresses them or find a different doctor. You know your body better than anyone else and you know what is normal for you. Listen to what your body is telling and speak to your doctor sooner, rather than later.