When it comes to aches, pain, and other health problems, just because something seems minor does not mean it shouldn’t be taken seriously. In fact, recent research found that even common aches can be first, or early warning signs of cancer.
In a survey that included more than 1,700 adults over the age of 50 in the United Kingdom, participants evaluated how serious they considered a list of 17 ailments – 10 of which were actually markets of cancer. The survey also required the participants to indicate whether they experienced any of the listed symptoms recently, and how they handled it.
It turns out that most people don’t pay much attention to the early warning signs, as less than 10% of the participants even recalled recent occurrences of pain.
Most people tend to think that the cancer is just something that can’t happen to them, but the devastating truth is that 1 in 4 people will eventually have to face the disease. So, in order to make your chances better, you will need to spot the disease early. Here are some common early symptoms of cancer:
- Lumps or bumps
Any new lumps or bums appearing on your body should be checked by your doctor as soon as possible, especially if they are painful or persistent. In the survey, less than 7% of people decided that their lumps were worth reporting to an MD, even though 75% of those surveyed reported lumps on their body.
- Changes in toilet-related habits
Early signs of prostate and bladder cancer include increased trips to the bathroom, and pain while urinating. Frequent diarrhea, constipation, or odd color of the stool can be early indicators of lower digestive tract cancer, such as colon cancer. Make sure you visit your doctor if you exhibit these symptoms for more than a few days at a time.
- Weight loss
Sudden loss of weight with no medical or dietary reason behind it can be one of the first cancer signs, according to The American Cancer Society. Dropping more than 5% of body weight in a month is considered a warning sign.
- Chronic fatigue
If you are getting enough sleep (8 hours per night) and still struggle staying awake during the day it might be your immune system telling you it is struggling. Cancer in early stages is known to cause drowsiness, and constant fatigue, which can also be related to internal bleeding caused by the cancer.
- Hair growth
Abnormal hair growth and appearance of hair in odd places on your body may be an indication of thyroid cancer, or cancer of other endocrinal glands. It can also be a sign of a hormonal disorder unrelated to cancer. Either way, a visit to a doctor should be your first priority, as both conditions are better contained when spotted early.
Even though indigestion is a common issue, it can sometimes be a first sign of upper digestive tract cancer. Due to the common rate of this symptom being reported, it is most often disregarded.
- Changes on the skin
Skin changes aren’t necessarily related to melanoma, or skin cancer. Yellow skin can be a sign of liver cancer, and different discolorations can point to different types of cancer.
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