How to Spot the Warning Signs of Different Types of Cancer
There’s no bigger health concern than cancer, but a lot of people can’t recognise when the disease affects their wellbeing. It’s important to get annual checkups and tests, but there are also a lot of cancer symptoms that are commonly overlooked which, if spotted early, may make all the difference to your wellness. Here are the 20 common cancer signs to watch out for:
1. Upset stomach or stomach ache: This is one of the first signs of colon cancer, but also occurs in leukaemia, pancreatic and liver cancer patients.
2. Acid pains in your stomach: This feels like gas or heartburn in your upper or middle abdomen, which is often aggravated by eating. It’s often a sign of liver cancer.
3. Unexplained weight loss: When the pounds are falling off despite not making any changes to your lifestyle, it could be a sign of colon and other digestive cancers.
4. Jaundice: This is a sign of pancreatic cancer, and includes symptoms such as yellowing of your skin and eyes have yellowed, darker than usual urine, clay-coloured stools and itching.
5. Wheezing or shortness of breath: This is one of the first signs of lung cancer, but as it can also signal asthma, COPD and heart disease, it’s worth getting checked out anyway.
6. Chronic cough or chest pain: Though several types of cancer, such as leukaemia and lung tumours, mimic a bad cough or bronchitis, you can tell its cancer if the problem persists, rather than coming and going in cycles.
7. Frequent fevers or infections: Leukaemia saps your body’s ability to fight fevers and infections, and causes frequent feelings of achiness, and flu-like symptoms.
8. Trouble with swallowing: If you have a frequent feeling of needing to clear your throat or that food is stuck in your chest, it could signal lung cancer or throat cancer.
9. Chronic heartburn: Regular heartburn and an acidic taste in the throat can trigger a condition called Barrett’s oesophagus, which may be a precursor of oesophageal or throat cancer.
10. Facial swelling: Small cell lung tumours block the blood vessels in your chest, which limits blood flow to your face and causes puffiness, swelling, or redness.
11. Lumps on your neck, underarm, or groin: Depending on where it occurs, lumps or swollen lymph nodes could indicate leukaemia or throat cancer, especially if they’re painless.
12. Excessive bruising or bleeding: This is another sign of leukaemia, as it suggests something abnormal happening with your platelets and red blood cells.
13. Weakness and fatigue: This is a symptom of many different cancers, especially if it doesn’t respond to getting more sleep.
14. Rectal bleeding: Blood in you stool or in the toilet alone is a common symptom of colorectal cancer.
15. Bowel problems: If constipation, diarrhoea, and changes in stools go on for more than a few days without a clear cause, it may be colon or pancreatic cancer.
16. Trouble urinating: Changes and difficulties in urination are commonly associated with prostate cancer.
17. Pain or burning during urination: Although it may be a urinary tract infection or sexually transmitted disease, pain during urination can also indicate prostate cancer.
18. Blood in your urine or semen: This is a sign of prostate cancer.
19. Erection problems: While it may be a sign of erectile dysfunction, erection problems can be a sign that your prostate cancer has progressed.
20. Pain, aching, or heaviness in your groin, hips, thighs, or abdomen: Men with testicular cancer report noticing a heavy, aching feeling low in the belly and/or testicles, and the condition also causes swelling in the hips, legs and back.