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Cancer is one of the leading causes of death for Americans and can take many forms. When cancer is present in your body it can create a host of symptoms. While annual physicals can help to detect certain types of cancer, it is important to know some of the warning signs that are associated with cancer so that you can address them with your doctor early. The earlier cancer is detected and your treatment begins the better your chance or remission. Some warning signs of cancer that should be addressed with your doctor include.
Sudden or Unexplained Weight Loss
While weight loss can be attributed to dieting, stress, or hormone changes, any sudden loss of appetite or weight loss that does not seem to have a reason should be further investigated.
Change in Bladder or Bowel Habits
Your digestive system will often react to stress as well as the foods you eat, but if you experience problems with producing urine or frequent urination, long bouts of diarrhea, constipation, or incontinence, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Change in Size, Shape, or Color of Moles or Beauty Marks
Any moles, beauty marks, or warts should be monitored for changes in shape, color, or any swelling or spreading. Also marks that have atypical shapes should be brought to your doctor’s attention.
A warning sign of throat and esophageal cancers can include difficulty or pain when swallowing. If you have issues with swallowing, you should contact your doctor immediately as an airway can become closed quickly.
Unusual or Excessive Bleeding or Bruising
While bruising easily or bleeding more than normal can be a symptom of blood disorders or anemia, it can also be an early warning sign of cancer. If you find unexplained bruises or seem to bruise more easily or excessively with minor injuries schedule a visit with your physician.
Lumps on Your Body That Can’t be Explained
Anytime you notice a lump on your body that is not associated with an injury, it should be checked by your doctor. Most often these lumps will appear on your breasts, testicles, or lymph system. If malignancy is suspected your doctor will perform a biopsy to confirm.
There are many reasons you may be experiencing pain, but if you have pain in an area that is not relieved by rest or explained by injury, it is worth bringing up with the doctor. Abdominal pain can be the result of a number of conditions including pancreatic and other cancers.
If you are getting plenty of sleep at night, but are still feeling severely fatigued during the day, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor. While fatigue can be a symptom of many conditions it is also an early warning sign of some cancers.
Repeated infections can be a symptom that your immune system is not functioning as well as it should. This could indicate a low white blood cell count which can be an indication of cancer in the body.
Coughing up Blood
If when coughing you produce blood or blood tinged phlegm, address the issue with a doctor. Coughing up blood can be a symptom of many severe lung conditions as well as lung cancer.
Being in tune with your body is important to maintaining your overall health. If you notice any of the above symptoms or feel that something in your body is outside the norm, it is important to address them with your doctor as soon as possible so that proper treatment can be sought.