First, before we talk about the signs of cancer, let us be clear on what a sign is. When you have a sign, it is something that someone else can detect with their senses too. For example, a doctor could detect the shape of an irregular mole that could be cancerous.
A symptom is something that might not be visible. For example, if you have a headache, another person can’t see your headache. You can describe the pain, location, and intensity of it but the symptom is only felt by you.
If you are concerned about any physiological changes that you notice in your body, seek the help of a medical professional for further evaluation, diagnosis, and early treatment.
1. A LUMP BENEATH THE SKIN THAT FEELS HARD
Lumps in breast tissue are often first discovered by women and men who perform self-exams and feel their breast tissue regularly. Touching your own body and getting to know its usual feeling is a good way to be able to distinguish when you have a change.
Get comfortable with touching yourself regularly, especially on the breast, testicle, armpit, throat, abdomen, and skin. Self-examination of these soft tissues should help to discover changes before they develop into larger tumors.
2. ITCHY SKIN
Cancer is treated like a bacteria in the body by your immune system. Your white blood cells are mobilized to try to destroy it. Because of this, blood flow is increased in the area of a cancerous growth and the area may feel warm, appear red, change color, feel tight or itch.
3. WOUNDS THAT DO NOT HEAL
If you have a cut or other injury to the surface of your skin and it is taking a long time to heal or you notice little progress, it is a sign that cancer may be growing in your body.
Your immune system has to prioritize defense zones and cancer takes priority for all available bodily resources way before your minor wound. Take excellent care to keep the wound clean, and consider getting blood screening done just to be cautious.
4. TONGUE OR MOUTH BUMPS
Bumps inside the mouth, gums or throat, especially whitish colored bumps should be a cause for concern.
5. TROUBLE SWALLOWING, INDIGESTION OR LOSS OF APPETITE
Anything that significantly disrupts your digestive process is cause for concern because it hurts your body’s ability to get nutrition from the food that you eat. As a result, bodily functions, like healing, suffer.
6. CHANGES IN BOWEL MOVEMENTS
Anything that seems different from your usual stool and that lasts for more than 2 days should begin to be a cause for concern. For example, finding blood in your stools is something that most people know is a sign of colon cancer and that they should seek the help of a medical professional immediately for evaluation.
Other changes you might look for according to the American Cancer Society would include pain during elimination, very dark colored stool, lighter color, constipation or diarrhea, or mucus. Seek the examination and diagnosis of a trusted medical professional.
7. CHANGES IN URINATION
Similarly to normal bowel functioning, your bladder function should be fairly regular. Changes in the strength of your urine flow, color, smell, presence of foam, or especially noticeable blood should be checked immediately for cancer growing in your body.
Unexplained bleeding that cannot be accounted for by a menstrual cycle should be checked quickly. Blood from the uterus, nipple, or in any bodily excretions should be examined.
9. VOICE CHANGES
Cancer of the larynx can cause your voice to change pitch and tone. Changes in your voice are a sign that cancer may be growing in you body.
A cancer may be growing inside your body in your lung, esophagus, throat and even stomach if you are experiencing coughing that is persistent and not a result of another illnes.