Cancer is an umbrella term used to describe conditions caused due to the multiplication of abnormal cells in the body. This growth can start in one organ and then spread or invade the surrounding tissues and travel to other body parts. Some of the most common types include breast, cervix, colon, and mouth cancers. Here are some early warning signs of cancer to look out for.
Changes in the menstrual cycle
One of the typical early warning signs of cancer is changes in the menstrual cycle. Many individuals will experience irregular or changes in their menstrual cycles over time. But, if there is persistent pain in the pelvic region and sudden changes in the cycle, it is essential to check it out. This issue could be an early cervical, uterine, or ovarian cancer symptom.
Coughing is mainly a symptom of a cold or a flu infection but is also typically seen as an early sign of certain types of cancer. If the cough is persistent even after two weeks, especially a dry cough, it could be a sign of lung cancer. Such a sign, accompanied by other symptoms such as fatigue, hoarseness, and shortness of breath, could indicate that it’s time to get checked by a healthcare professional.
Fatigue from cancer differs from the tiredness felt after a long workday. But it is important to note that extreme fatigue does not improve with rest. This sign could also be of an early cancer stage. Cancer grows by using the body’s nutrients, so the body cannot use these nutrients to repair the wear and tear in the body and replenish its sources. Several causes could lead to fatigue, but they are not exclusively cancer-related. But, if excessive tiredness interferes with the day-to-day functioning of life, getting it checked by a doctor is essential.
With cancer, individuals could experience pain due to different reasons. It could be caused by a mass or tumor pressing on other body areas. This early sign associated with cancer could also be due to the release of certain chemicals by the cancerous mass. Metastasis, i.e., when the cancer cells spread to other parts and organs of the body, could also lead to pain. If one is experiencing this symptom, it is important to get it checked by a healthcare professional. They will help with the next steps and determine the cause of the pain.
Changes in the skin
If the appearance of a birthmark or mole is changed, getting it checked by a healthcare professional immediately is crucial. One can look for asymmetry, border changes, color changes, and diameter changes and if the mole is evolving. Evolving refers to a mole of birthmark that suddenly grows to bleed over a while.
Getting these early warning signs checked can help one get the right diagnosis and a prompt treatment plan to ensure no complications are experienced. Having a word with a doctor immediately after such symptoms are experienced is the first step one needs to take.