Topic: Cancer Symptoms Women Are Likely to Ignore.
Cancer is deadly, especially amongst women, this is because, some cancers are indolent and can present with no clear symptoms/ sign. Also, many cancer signs in women can mimic symptoms of other diseases or conditions, so it is easy to ignore these symptoms/signs.
Below are key symptoms every woman must be conversant with. At this juncture, I will implore ALL women to know their body, and report any of these symptoms to their doctor immediately.
1. Postmenopausal bleeding (Bleeding After menopause).
It’s not uncommon for women to see some light spotting even after they’ve gone through menopause. But if you suddenly start period-like bleeding again, and it’s consistent, it could be an early warning sign of uterine cancer, Time is of essence in cancer management. Generally, women diagnosed at early stages of cancer have better survival chance.
2. Breast changes such as dimpling, discoloration, persistent pain, lump.
An unusual lump is the telltale sign of breast cancer women are told to look for. But other breast changes can signal cancer. If you notice the skin of your breast becoming dimpled, a nipple inverting, swelling, tenderness, or slight discoloration of the skin to a deeper red or pink. ‘Those signs don’t necessarily mean it’s cancer, but that’s exactly why women delay seeking help because they’re hoping it’s nothing.
Nearly every woman complains of bloating, especially during menses and ovulation. but if you notice you’re still bloated after your cycle finishes or you feel consistently constipated, it could be a symptom of ovarian cancer or uterine cancer. ‘ Many ovarian cancer patients report having experienced vague symptoms, like bloating. A feeling of fullness despite a lighter appetite is another common sign of ovarian cancer.
4. Abnormal periods
It’s not uncommon for women to have irregular periods, but if your flow suddenly becomes significantly heavier month after month, if you start bleeding between periods.
5. Pelvic Pain f you have pelvic pain, ask your doctor for a transvaginal ultrasound to check for uterine, ovarian, or other vaginal cancers.
6. Chronic coughing
Everyone gets colds that have you feel like you’re coughing up a lung. But if you develop a cough that lasts three weeks or more and you don’t have other symptoms that usually accompany a cold or allergies, like a stuffy nose, it could be an early symptom of lung cancer.. Some lung cancer patients report chest pain that extends up into the shoulder or down the arm.
7. Stomach Upset.
An upset stomach is so common it will rarely mean you have cancer. But if you notice persistent stomach cramps or are suddenly nauseous all the time and it’s not getting better, see a doctor. It could turn out to be something as simple as an ulcer, but it could also be a symptom of leukemia or esophageal, liver, pancreatic, or colorectal cancer,
An upset stomach is so common it will rarely mean you have cancer. But if you notice persistent stomach cramps or are suddenly nauseous all the time and it’s not getting better, see a doctor. It could turn out to be something as simple as an ulcer, but it could also be a symptom of leukemia or esophageal, liver, pancreatic, or colorectal cancer.
8. Frequent fevers or infection
If you’re usually healthy but notice yourself getting sick or feverish more frequently, it could be an early sign of leukemia. Leukemia is cancer of the blood and triggers the body to produce abnormal white blood cells, sapping the body’s infection-fighting abilities by weakening the immune system. Pay attention to flu-like symptoms, like achiness or fever, which don’t go away.
9. Difficulty swallowing
A sore throat can make swallowing hard or painful, but if you notice it persists for a few weeks and gets worse, see your doctor. This is a common sign of throat or stomach cancer and could also be an early sign of lung cancer.
10. Excessive bruising
You wake up with one mysterious bruise—probably not reason to worry, maybe you bumped into something stumbling to the bathroom last night. But if you start to notice bruises popping up all the time, especially in strange places like your hands or fingers, it should raise an alarm. Easy, unusual bruising can be a sign of leukemia.
11. Unexplained weight loss
. Weight loss or unusual changes to appetite can be a sign of many cancers—such as esophageal, pancreatic, liver, and colon—but it’s an especially common symptom of leukemia or lymphoma,
12. Persistent fatigue
Everyone has days when they’re low on energy, but you should feel refreshed after a good night’s sleep or two. If you notice you’re tired every day for more than a month, or experience shortness of breath when you didn’t before, see a doctor Leukemia and lymphoma commonly cause persistent fatigue.
13. Chronic headaches
If you’re not prone to migraines and never get headaches, but suddenly find yourself popping ibuprofen every day, it could be a symptom of a brain tumor, which causes pain by pressing on nerves.
14. Blood in the stool
Most likely it’s something benign, like hemorrhoids. But this can be a sign of colon cancer. Cases are increasingly common in people under the age of 50—the age at which colon cancer screening is typically first recommended. ‘It’s easy to dismiss it as hemorrhoids or constipation, and if the problem comes and goes, people reassure themselves that nothing’s wrong, especially younger people, ‘But blood in a bowel movement is never normal, so get it checked out.’
15. Noticeable skin changes
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in America, but it’s also one of the trickiest to recognize the early signs. ‘Skin cancer is a tough one—many people think freckles, moles, or a darker age spot is just like the others they’ve had, says if you notice a mole getting darker, larger, or becoming raised, get it checked out. Melanoma skin changes are easier to identify because those spots are often irregularly shaped as opposed to round, significantly darker in color, or even two distinctly different colors within one spot.
16. Sores or pain in the mouth
A cold sore that heals is probably nothing to worry about, nor is a toothache that goes away after a trip to the dentist. But if you notice sores that don’t heal, pain that sticks around, white or red patches on the gums or tongue, and any swelling or numbness of the jaw it could be a sign of some mouth cancers.