A woman’s body is constantly changing. The older she gets, the more her body will change. Unfortunately, some of the changes that women go through may seem normal, but in actuality, they’re not. In some cases, these symptoms can be cancer signs.
Because of this, it’s important for a woman to monitor the changes her body goes through. The human body has a way of telling us that something is wrong. We all know our bodies very well. That’s why when we notice a change, we should all be on guard and tak the necessary steps to ensure that nothing is wrong with our health. When we notice a new symptom or a new change, it’s important to educate yourself about it by consulting your doctor.
Now, here are 12 common cancer signs that are mostly ignored by most women.
1. Changes in the Breasts
In many cases, a lump on the breast doesn’t necessarily mean cancer. But if you notice a lump on your breast, you should consult your doctor. Also, if you notice any nipple discharge, nipples turning inward, or any redness or scaling of your nipple, make sure you tell your doctor that as well. You should also be sure to go for yearly checkups at your doctor for a full body exam to ensure that your health is in good condition.
According to Marleen Myers, an oncologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, women are natural bloaters. If you’re a woman, you probably know that you tend to bloat a lot while on your period or after eating a particularly carb-heavy meal. But if the bloating does not subside and includes weight loss or bleeding, consult your doctor. Constant bloating can be one of the common cancer signs that many women ignore. It could be colon cancer, ovarian cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, or even pancreatic cancer. Never ignore any unusual changes to your body!
3. Bleeding Between Periods
If you’re continuously spotting between periods, go speak to your doctor. Any bleeding that is not part of the menstrual cycle may be due to many different causes. Your doctor will want to rule out endometrial cancer, so be sure to notice any changes to your menstrual cycle.
4. Changes In The Nails
A small brown vertical stripe in one of your toenails might be a sign of melanoma. Dr. Phoebe Rich, a dermatologist at the Oregon Dermatology and Research Center, states: “In more advanced cases, it can spread on to the cuticle area or the skin around the nail. That’s an ominous sign — it means it’s growing and spreading.” So if you notice any peculiar changes to your toe nails, you might want to contact your doctor to ensure it may not be a sign of melanoma.
5. Blood In The Urine Or Stool
In most cases, blood in the urine or stool is caused by hemorrhoids. But it can also be a sign of colon cancer. If you’re bleeding from an area that doesn’t usually bleed, consult your doctor. Especially if this bleeding lasts for more than two days.
6. Lymph Nodes Changing
Lymph nodes help our immune systems function, and act as filters for cancer cells and other foreign particles. Cancer in the lymph nodes can be life threatening. In most cases, the lymph nodes change when they become infected. The infections are usually harmless and the body fights them off. But in some cases, such as leukemia and lymphoma, they also cause the lymph nodes to swell. If the swelling is present for at least a month, speak to your doctor.
7. Can’t Swallow
It’s natural to have trouble swallowing at times. But if it is happening often, and vomiting and weight loss are also present, you may have throat or stomach cancer. If these symptoms have not subsided after a few weeks, go speak to your doctor so he/she can properly examine you.
8. Unexpected Weight Loss
A lot of women wish that they could magically lose weight. But if this weight disappears without any extra exercise or a change in your diet, something might be wrong. In most cases, unexpected weight loss is caused by stress. But there are times it is caused by pancreatic or colon cancer. If you notice that you have not made any changes to your diet or exercise regimen but are still losing weight, visit a medical clinic to rule out the potential for cancer or any other illnesses.
Heartburn can be caused by excessive food or alcohol consumption. It will eventually go away with time and rest. If the heartburn does not go away, or it gets worse, it could be stomach, ovaries or throat cancer. In addition, constant heartburn will damage the lining of the esophagus, which can develop into Barrett’s esophagus. This condition raises the risk of developing throat cancer.
Some people are more prone to heartburn. If you notice that you frequently get heartburn after you eat, be sure to find out what types of foods trigger your heartburn. This way, you can eliminate those foods from your diet and significantly reduce your heartburn.
10. Changes of the Mouth
For women who smoke, look for white, yellow or gray patches inside your mouth. Cancer sores will also develop, which could be a sign of oral cancer.
11. Developing a Fever
When people develop the flu, they have a fever that will last a couple of days. But a fever that does not subside can mean many different things. Leukemia and other blood cancers can be the cause of the fever. If you have an ongoing fever and cannot determine the cause of it, visit your doctor or the emergency room to determine what may be causing it.
12. A Cough
Most people who develop coughs will see it go away within four weeks. Any cough that lasts longer than a month should not be ignored. If you’re a smoker or are having shortness of breath with this cough, consult your doctor. A cough is the most common sign of lung cancer. If you notice that you have a cough for an extended period of time and have ruled out a cold or any other illness, try to reduce the amount of cigarettes you smoke daily (if you smoke), and be sure to make an appointment with your doctor to determine what is causing your cough.
Now that you know some of the most common cancer signs that are ignored by women, be sure to keep your health in check and contact your doctor if you notice any changes in your health. If you have a healthy lifestyle and a good diet but notice that your health has recently changed, be sure to take the proper precautions to ensure that you are not at risk for any serious illnesses. If you are not active and your diet needs improvement, try to incorporate some healthy lifestyle changes into your daily routine. This can include creating a new exercise regimen, reducing smoking and drinking, and making changes to your diet. There are many different signs and symptoms which are ignored by women all over the world. If you notice that you have any of the symptoms in this list, don’t panic. It is likely that you don’t have cancer, but it is always a good idea to take the right steps in the event that you notice any lingering, unusual symptoms.