Cancer is a silent killer. It is the deadliest disease. Diagnosis is always a huge shock. Despite many advancements made in the field of science and technology, there hasn’t been yet a definitive way to prevent it. However, staying vigilant and keeping an eye for the symptoms of cancer you are likely to ignore might save the bigger damage. Therefore, it is said that when caught early, it is totally curable and the person can live a happy and healthy life.
Symptoms might not be obvious. Some can be very minor like persistent cough ranging over a longer span of time. They may also vary greatly from one individual to another. However, despite being deceptive in nature, if one is educated about the likely symptoms and markers of cancer – 100% cure is present from the diseases.
Here, we will discuss the 10 symptoms of cancer you are likely to ignore. By staying alert and vigilant, if you catch any of these at an early stage, consult your health care practitioner right away. It is always better to be safe than sorry. An early diagnosis and proper treatment can save one from a lot of trouble.
1. Persistent Fatigue
If you feel lethargic and drained 24/7, it might be more than just being low on energy. Constant lethargy can be an early symptom of leukemia, colon or stomach cancer. It is important to consult a PG as soon as possible. Cancer related fatigue stays for a longer duration of time and doesn’t go away with a good night’s sleep. Sometimes it might be due to blood loss that is not obvious such as that in urine or stool. It is important to get yourself checked in such a situation for any possibility of cancer.
2. Unintended Weight Loss
If you are not actively trying to lose weight yet keep shedding the pounds, it might be an early sign of a possible cancerous illness. In all kinds of blood cancers, leukemia, lymphomas, myeloma – weight loss is one of the biggest occurrences.
And happens in almost 90% of the patients. Therefore, if you don’t recall any scheduled weight loss like intended exercise or diet. And still losing pounds, it should be taken as a silent suspicious indication and a doctor must be consulted. Most of the times, it is one of the earliest symptoms of an underlying illness.
3. Unexplained Thickening or Lump
It is advised to general population that they should examine themselves on routine basis. The presence of an unexplained thickening or any lump in any part of the body should be taken as an alarming situation. Usually in case of females, it is important to physically examine the breasts regularly.
A lump in breast doesn’t necessarily have to be malignant. However, an early diagnosis can save from the bigger trouble on time. Extra attention should be paid to any lump or thickening increasing in size. Most of the times they are benign but a prompt checkup is important to be carried out.
4. Enlarged Lymph Nodes
Lymph nodes are small glands in the body responsible for lymphatic drainage. They are present in armpits, in the neck area and in groin. The lymph nodes might locally get inflamed and become tender in case of any infection in the body. However, in case of a suspected cancer particularly that of blood, there can be generalized enlargement of lymph nodes in the body. And that must raise your concern for the possible outcome of blood related illness. In most of leukemia and lymphomas, there is a generalized enlargement of lymph nodes in the body.
5. Non Healing Wound or Ulcer
Its usually takes 7-14 days (approx 2 weeks) for any wound or ulcer to heal. However, if there is any persistent wound that stays more than this duration and starts exhibiting changes in its appearance such as size, shape, color, texture – it must be suspected for the possibility of cancer. A non healing wound or ulcer is one of the earliest signs of a possible cancerous condition and it must be taken into consideration. Keep a close eye for any apparent changes and consult your doctor as soon as possible.
6. Oral Changes
In case of any oral changes, one should instantly consult an oral pathologist. The changes might be appearance of red or white patches that may or may not be removed with a swab. Mostly, in case of smokers or those who frequently use pan, chali and snuff. They are likely to get oral cancers. Any persistent ulcer inside the oral cavity or change in the mucosal membrane of the floor of mouth, lateral border of tongue, cheeks and lips should be reported to an oral pathologist or a maxillofacial surgeon. As it can be an early symptom in case of a possible oral cancer.
7. Difficulty in Swallowing
Usually, not every problematic swallowing is due to cancerous possibility. However, in most of the esophageal cancers, difficulty in swallowing is one of the most initial symptoms that you are likely to ignore. Pain on swallowing, regurgitation or irritation should be reported for proper checkup. Irritation with a certain group of food that results in painful swallowing should also be taken as an early indication for a likely outcome of cancer.
8. Persistent Pain
Cancer related pain doesn’t have any cause. And doesn’t get better with any sort of medication. Pain in any part of the body that doesn’t happen due to any apparent reason and shows no improvement with any sort of medication should be suspected for cancer. Most of the uterine and ovarian cancers start with constant pain that stays for a longer duration of time. Such pain shows no improvement with pain killers and remains throbbing, stabbing in nature. Any pain that stays for more than usual time period should be reported to the doctor on time. As it could be one of the early symptoms of cancer that you are likely to ignore.
9. Skin Changes
Skin cancer is one of the most common types of cancer. However, it is also one such that is difficult to be identified at an early stage. It is advised to keep a bull’s-eye for any unusual skin changes. Changes in the shape, size, color and texture of any already present spot or the appearance of an unexpected mole all of a sudden – all such situations should not be neglected as they lead to a possibility of skin cancer. It is also important to understand that all the conditions might not be malignant however; an early diagnosis can save an advanced stage of fully blown disease.
10. Prolonged Fever
Fever that stays for more than usual time is one of the most prominent symptoms of cancer. It particularly happens in case of blood cancers. Any persistent fever that stays without any apparent illness should be suspected as a possible symptom of underlying cancer. And a doctor must be consulted at the earliest.
Cancer is very much treatable if diagnosed on time. Therefore, it is important to be educated about the possible symptoms and markers that might lead to a fully fledged cancer.
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