They are common symptoms and can be passed off as your body getting to grips with every day tiredness. But experts warn that if you notice any other major changes in the way your body functions or feels, you should see a doctor, especially if the changes persist or get worse. It may not be cancer, but any major change in your body is cause for concern.
Unexplained weight loss
If you are losing weight because you are dieting or exercising, that’s fine. But if you find yourself losing weight with no change in your lifestyle habits, this is an unexplained weight loss and it can be associated with several cancers including those of the pancreas and stomach.
A persistent fever may be an early sign of blood cancers like lymphoma or leukaemia. If you experience persistent fever, you should see a doctor. Even if it’s not cancer, it must be treated seriously.
Although pain can have many causes, persistent headaches can be an early sign of brain cancer and back pain can be a sign of rectal or ovarian cancer. If you start experiencing persistent pain, talk to your GP.
A nagging cough
If you notice a cough or hoarseness that just won’t go away, it could be a sign of lung or larynx cancer. It is more likely that you are experiencing seasonal allergies, but run tests to be sure.
Lumps in the body
If you find lumps in your skin, go see a dermat. Be especially wary of lumps in the breast, testicles, or near lymph nodes. Don’t freak out if you find lumps on your arms, legs, or other parts of the body though. They might just be harmless sebaceous cysts.
Abnormal bleeding is one of many signs of cancer. Coughing up blood can mean lung cancer, blood in the stool can mean colon or rectal cancer, blood in urine can mean bladder cancer, persistent vaginal bleeding could point to cervical cancer, and blood discharge from the nipple can mean breast cancer.
Changes in bladder function
If you’re experience pain when urinating, blood in your urine, or other changes, such as needing to go more or less often, these could be symptoms of bladder or prostate cancer. Besides, if you observe a long-term change in your bowel function, like persistent diarrhoea or constipation, it may be a symptom of colon cancer.
Catching it early with a colonoscopy could save your life.
Sores that never heal
If you have a persistent sore or sores that don’t seem to heal, you should get them checked out by a doctor right away. Sores inside the mouth can be signs of an oral cancer.
Changes on your skin
If you notice any changes on a wart or mole on your body, or any other changes on your skin, this could be a sign of melanoma, also known as skin cancer. See a dermatologist right away. It can be treated easily if it’s detected early.
Constant fatigue that does not get better with rest can be a sign of cancer. This is a tricky one because a lot of people feel fatigue for completely different reasons. But if you start feeling tired all the time you should get yourself checked.