Everyone dreads cancer but it is impossible to rid the world of it. That being said, it is crucial that everyone know a few different signs of cancer. There is literally a different kind of cancer for every part of the body and therefore it is necessary for everyone to be aware of some common cancer symptoms for different types of cancer.
Signs of Cancer, General
There are plenty of symptoms that are specific to the type of cancer that you may have but there are also some general symptoms to take note of that may help you toward diagnosis. There are seven overall basic symptoms of cancer and they are the following: changes in bowel and bladder movements, sores that do not heal, bleeding or discharge that is unusual, thickening or lumps, difficulty swallowing, change in skin warts and moles, cough and hoarseness, headaches, chronic pain, loss of weight or appetite, low grade fever that is persistent, and repeated infection.
These signs are somewhat universal and can also apply to other illnesses. There are any number of illnesses that can point to any of the symptoms that you are experiencing. That being said, these symptoms are almost always present when cancer is in the body. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is crucial that you take the time to see a doctor to discover and learn about the possible causes of the symptoms. If you experience one or two of these symptoms it may not be a big issue; however if you do experience several of these symptoms together you should take a few moments to talk to a doctor to see what may be causing it.
Ovarian Cancer Symptoms
For women there is a unique threat that ovarian cancer presents. As such, it is important that women keep note of any changes that they have in menstrual cycles and pay attention to the following symptoms: unexplained abdominal pain, fatigue, abdominal swelling, increased abdominal growth or girth, bloating, constipation, early satiety, frequent urination, and any loss of weight or changes in appetite. These are tricky symptoms to keep in mind especially for younger women that are trying to get pregnant as many of these symptoms are also symptoms of pregnancy.
Even for women that are not trying to get pregnant, these symptoms are also a sign of menstrual cycles or what is commonly referred to PMS. This means that these symptoms can go unnoticed for a time and may even be chalked up to other explanations. It is important that women get regular screenings to help keep an eye on the development of cancer cells and to make sure that cancer does not go unnoticed. It is crucial that women have a yearly checkup to see if they are at risk of cancer.
Colon Cancer Symptoms
Colon cancer is something that can affect anyone and is one of the most common types of cancer. There are a few different symptoms that you should keep an eye on that may point to colon cancer. Change in bowel habits like excessive constipation or diarrhea, rectal bleeding or blood in stools, feeling that your bowel does not empty, intense and persistent abdominal discomfort and pain, unexplained weight loss, and any pain and fatigue. These symptoms may not be something that is readily seen as many people chalk these symptoms up to age and diet.
There are a few ways to think about this however; if you have not had any change in diet and are experiencing these symptoms you may have colon cancer. Often, older individuals are the most susceptible to colon cancer which means that it is important to think about these symptoms as they appear. If you do experience these symptoms you should take the time to talk to the doctor and see what might be causing these symptoms.
Breast Cancer Symptoms
Another type of cancer that affects both sexes is breast cancer. Though this is traditionally associated with women only, men also have mammary glands, they are simply not as pronounced, this means that men can also develop breast cancer. Some symptoms of breast cancer are pain in the breast, leakage from the nipples, swelling or breast lumps, enlargement of one breast, unintended weight loss, visible veins in the breast, enlarged lymph nodes, vaginal pain, and orange peel texture to the skin.
In most cases, breast cancer is linked to hormone changes in the body and as such is more common in women that have not had children and that are over the age of 25. However, those with a genetic predisposition to breast cancer can develop it as early as teens. This is a very serious cancer and if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned you should see a doctor immediately. It is helpful that women over the age of 40 start having a mammogram every five years to monitor lumps in the breast and detect breast cancer early.
Throat and Lung Cancer Symptoms
Throat and lung cancer are often cancers that go together and as such it is important to understand the symptoms of both. Some common symptoms of throat cancer are difficulty swallowing, changes in voice tone and depth, swelling of the eyes, jaw, throat or neck, bleeding of the mouth or nose, chronic cough, unexplained weight loss, and sore throat. These can also be symptoms of a severe infection which may make people believe that this is not a serious issue.
Some common symptoms of lung cancer are as follows, a new and emerging cough that does not go away, chronic cough often called a smoker’s cough, chest pain, wheezing, hoarseness, shortness of breath, coughing up blood and excessive mucus. These again can be signs of lung infection and some people simply believe that they are signs of a cold or pneumonia.
Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms
A cancer that affects men and women is pancreatic cancer. This is a very swift moving cancer and has a few different symptoms that you can watch for. Upper abdominal pain radiating from the back, yellowing of the skin also called jaundice, weight loss, depression, blood clots, and loss of appetite. These are also signs of aging but it is important that any man take these symptoms to the doctor. For men and women alike it is often not possible to detect this type of cancer before it occurs but you can catch it early and treat.
Prostate Cancer Symptoms
For most men over the age of 50 a yearly prostate check can detect abnormalities early to help treat prostate cancer. Some common symptoms of prostate cancer are as follows: need to urinate often, especially at night, weak or interrupted urine flow, difficulty having an erection, blood in urine or semen, painful urination, difficulty urinating, and pain. This type of cancer moves swiftly so a yearly exam is needed to help prevent issue and to help men keep from becoming overrun with prostate cancer before it is too late.
Cervical Cancer Symptoms
One last type of cancer to consider that is relatively common is cervical cancer. This is a cancer that only affects women but that is very painful and fast moving. Some symptoms of cervical cancer are as follows: abnormal vaginal bleeding, vaginal discharge that does not stop, pain, and periods that are longer or more intense than normal. All of these symptoms can be paired with the general symptoms of cancer making this a very miserable form of cancer. Again, yearly screenings can help prevent this type of cancer from spreading and can detect it early to help stop its spread.
Diagnosis, Coping, and Cancer Help
The first step to recovering from cancer is to first get an accurate diagnosis. Though it may seem like looking symptoms up on the Internet is enough, it is important to take the time to really talk to a doctor, to several doctors in fact, to make sure that a diagnosis is accurate. Blood tests, scans, and physical exams are the best way to determine if cancer is present. After cancer is detected and diagnosed it may be necessary to learn some different coping mechanisms. There are plenty of establishments that are organized to help those that have been diagnosed with cancer learn to deal with it.
Through therapy, group work, and even talking to others, you can certainly learn how to deal with cancer. Though cancer is not a diagnosis for death, most people see it as one and need help learning how to deal with it. In many cases, when cancer is caught early enough it can be treated and a normal life can be achieved. It is crucial that you take the time to talk to your doctor about any unusual symptoms that you might be experiencing in order to rule out cancer and really take the time to learn about your body and what is happening with it. Cancer is scary and with enough help anyone can learn to deal with it and get past it rather than letting a cancer diagnosis rule their lives.