Surprising Cancer Warning Signs That Could Save Your Life
We’ll be honest with you: Cancer is really scary to think about. It’s the “big C,” the diagnosis you don’t want to hear from your doctor. But in 2016, most forms of cancer are highly treatable — if you catch them early.
And looking out for these surprising early warning signs of cancer can help you do just that. But even if you think you have one of these symptoms, there’s no reason to slip into a WebMD and Googling down spiral. We’ve got the information to point you in the right direction, and then you can take it and do with it what you need to.
Take any concerns that you have to a doctor that you trust and have (or want to build) a relationship with. Chances are, you’ll hear that you’re perfectly fine. Some of these symptoms can be a sign of other illnesses that aren’t as serious. But they should still be checked out with your doctor just to be on the safe side.
Lack of sleep, period hormones and consistently long workouts at the gym can all make you feel extra tired. But if you find yourself feeling really fatigued — making daily tasks seem challenging, and your limbs feel heavy — for no reason at all, it could be an early warning sign that you should talk about with a doctor.
Unexplained Weight Loss
If you’re on a diet, there’s no need to worry. But if you drop more than five percent of your weight in a month or 10 percent of your weight in six months when you’re not making an effort (or find yourself unusually stressed out), it’s time to see your doctor to rule out any medical complications.
If it happens once a month, when you snack on food you know you probably shouldn’t eat, or every once in a while, bloating is fine.
But if you have bloating — the kind that makes you feel full really quickly or puts you off your food altogether — consistently for three weeks, see your doctor. Even if it’s not the big C, it could be other stomach or intestinal problems.
Lumps aren’t necessarily surprising in your breast. There are often many lumps and bumps of different shapes and sizes in your breasts. And not all lumps are cancerous, even if you find one during a routine breast exam.
But if you find a lump anywhere that concerns you, you could be dealing with a cyst, infection or other problem that it’s best to run by your doctor.
Unexplained Pain That Won’t Go Away
We all have a random twinge every now and again. But if you have a sharp pain, dull ache, or even headache that won’t quit, and you can’t explain why, it’s time to make an appointment.
A Pounding Or Racing Heart
If it comes out of nowhere — not when you’re stressed or exercising or startled — you may have a serious problem on your hands.
Roughness, redness, dimpling or any significant skin changes — especially on your breasts — could be a sign of a problem.
Feeling warmer than usual or slightly “off”? Check your temperature. You might be running a fever. And if it lasts (even if it’s just a slight fever) for several days or comes and goes a lot, it’s time to see your doctor.
Any Change In The Bathroom
Without getting too deep into poop talk, any changes in your bathroom habits (frequency, texture, size, consistency) that keep happening and can’t be explained by your lifestyle or what you’re eating are a good reason to take the poop talk to your doc.
A Cough That Won’t Quit
Any cough or throat irritation that lasts more than eight weeks should be checked out by your doctor.
Or at least they feel like canker sores, but they’re not going away. Any changes in your mouth — sores, white or red patches, bumps, etc. — that won’t go away should be run by your doctor.
If you’re back at the doctor’s office for another infection — no matter the kind — it’s time to ask your doctor if something more serious is going on.
If you’re bleeding between periods, even if it’s just a spot or two that starts back up when your period is over, check it out with your doctor.
If you feel lightheaded every time (or often) when you get up, it’s time to see the doc. Several diseases and illnesses can cause dizziness, so your symptoms should be assessed by a professional.