According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 69.8% of women over 50 have taken a mammograph in the last couple of years. However, routine screening tests alone can’t always detect cancer and it’s very dangerous to rely on them completely.
Women are often afraid of speaking about an unusual symptom with their doctors, but this is wrong and may be fatal. If there’s something wrong with your health, there may be an underlying problem such as cancer.
This is why it’s very important to recognize the signs of cancer on time and never ignore them:
- Chronic cough, chest pain, wheezing, shortness of breath
All these symptoms are caused by lung tumors or leukemia. Some lung cancer patients have also reported pain that extends to the shoulder and arm.
- Breast changes
Any kind of change or a detection of lump in your breasts can be a sign of cancer. Inverted nipples, nipple discharge, skin dimpling and redness on the breasts can also a sign of breast cancer, so make sure to inspect your breasts carefully and report any change to your doctor.
- Swollen lymph nodes
If the lymph nodes on your neck, underarm or groin are swollen, it may indicate cancer of the lymph nodes. If the swollen nodes are accompanied by difficulty swallowing, it can be a sign of esophageal cancer.
- Bloating, abdominal pain, change in the bowel movements, rectal bleeding, blood in the stool or urine
If you’re often suffering from bloating which doesn’t seem to go away and it’s accompanied by sudden weight loss or blood in the stool, there’s a big chance that you’re suffering from ovarian cancer. These signs may also indicate colon, bladder or kidney cancer.
- Skin changes
If a mole on your skin changes its size, color or shape, you need to visit a doctor immediately.
Although it can be caused by alcohol, stress or a heavy meal, heartburn can also be caused by stomach, esophageal and ovarian cancer. Visit your doctor if it doesn’t go away after a couple of weeks.
- Weakness and fatigue
If you’re suffering from unexplained fatigue that doesn’t go away, it may be a sign of several types of cancer.
- Mouth changes
If you’re a smoker and see white spots in your mouth or on your lips, you may be suffering from oral cancer.
- Heavy and irregular bleeding
Many women have reported this as the first sign of uterine or endometrial cancer, so make sure to check it at a gynecologist.
- Pain in the back
Constant back pain can be caused by brain, bone, liver and breast cancer. Visit a doctor to see if it’s a bad sprain or a more dangerous condition.
- Changes in the nails
Any kind of changes on your nails can indicate serious diseases including cancer. White or pale nails can be an indication of liver cancer, while clubbing on the nails may be a sign of lung cancer.
- Abdominal pain
If this symptom is accompanied by depression, it can be a sign of pancreatic cancer. This symptom should concern people with a family history of pancreatic cancer, as well as heavy drinkers. If the pain doesn’t go away after a while, visit a doctor to see what’s causing it.
- Frequent fever and infections
Frequent fever and infections can be a sign of leukemia and other types of blood cancer, so don’t overlook the symptom.
- Foul v@ginal discharge
Foul smelling vaginal discharge can be a sign of cervical cancer. The discharge may occur after menopause and may also contain blood. The condition shouldn’t be treated with medications and should be checked by a doctor. It doesn’t have to mean that it’s cancer – sometimes, the cause is a yeast infection.
- Unexplained weight loss
Everyone wants to magically lose their pounds, but losing more than 10 pounds overnight may be a sign of a bigger problem. This is a common symptom of different digestive types of cancer, so make sure to visit your doctor if you suddenly lose weight.