Most of us tend to associate cancer with a lump underneath the skin, consistent pain in the head or the appearance of blood in vomit. Sadly, that is what most movies have taught us. In sharp contrast to these notions, there are many other telltale symptoms of cancer that are often ignored. Here are 9 such cancer related symptoms you should never ignore and should treat immediately before it is too late.
Lumps underneath the skin
Let’s start with the most visible and yet, most ignored symptom of cancer. The appearance of bumps and lumps under the skin surface can signal cancer. While a lump may be caused by a small harmless cyst, chances are it may be a cancerous tumor as well. So check it out immediately.
Sudden and drastic weight loss
Don’t be happy that you are losing weight suddenly without even trying. Chances are you may be having stomach, pancreatic, lung or esophageal cancer that is contributing to the weight loss.
A lot of us tend to get sores in the mouth or skin, but ignore them. A sore that does not heal even after a long time can be a sign of cancer. So keep an eye on those sores and have them checked out if they do not heal after even a week or so.
White patches in the mouth
Never dismiss those white patches you find in your mouth, including on the tongue. Rather than signs of anemia, these white patches would indicate the onset of oral cancer. Consult a doctor immediately if you notice them occurring frequently.
Change in bladder/bowel habits
If you find yourself visiting the bathroom more frequently to pass urine or stools, chances are you might be having rectal or colon cancer. The appearance of blood in the urine or stool also indicates that not all is well down there.
Changing skin moles
All of us have skin moles. While a mole itself is not dangerous, it would become a cause for concern if it starts growing rapidly or starts bleeding for no reason at all. A mole changing color from brown to tan can also indicate the onset of cancer.
Persistent cough and hoarseness
We tend to dismiss a hoarse throat as a symptom of cold or fever. But persistent cough and throat hoarseness can signify throat or lung cancer. So if the cough lasts longer than it should, consult a doctor right away.
Sudden, unexplained bleeding
Some of us who have hemorrhoids are accustomed to noticing blood when passing stools. However, if you start to notice a whole lot of blood in the stool, call a doctor. Make it a point to call the doctor even if the stools appear dark and tarry all of a sudden (the color change can be due to old blood getting accumulated in the colon as a result of internal bleeding in the esophagus or stomach.
Women who have crossed menopause, but still get vaginal bleeding would need to check for the possibility of uterine cancer. Bloody discharge in the urine or from the nipple can indicate bladder/kidney and breast cancer respectively.
Although all of us know that persistent pain can be due to a more serious problem like cancer, we tend to ignore the symptom and opt to treat the pain with medications. If you find a specific area of your body paining more frequently and consistently, consult a doctor immediately.
For instance, consistent pain in the abdomen for women may indicate ovarian cancer while consistent pain in the chest area may indicate lung cancer. Then again, if you get persistent headaches, chances are you may be suffering from brain cancer.
Although we are aware of only a few of them, there are myriad symptoms that can indicate the onset of cancer in individuals. From white patches on the tongue and hoarseness in the throat to consistent pain and frequent bladder movements, these are the telltale symptoms of cancer you should never ignore.