We all do it once in a while. We notice a weird pain, bump or other unusual something-or-other somewhere on or in our body and we just blow it off and decide it’s not something we need to worry about. In the vast majority of cases, people get away with that and it turns out to be something that clears up on its own. In other cases, it could be something that is calling out for your attention that should not be ignored. In many cases, it’s worth having these kinds of things checked out by your doctor. Yes, most of the time it will be nothing to worry about, but why take the chance? Some of the following symptoms could be caused by various forms of cancer and are commonly ignored, so be sure to think twice before you decide they are not worth worrying about.
1. Bumps and Lumps
Some people are more prone to having bumps and lumps appear somewhere on their body once in a while but even they should have newly-noticed irregularities checked out. They are often caused by benign cysts or other minor problems, but can also be linked to cancer.
2. Hoarseness or Cough
These symptoms are especially easy to ignore if it’s cold and flu season, but a cough caused by a cold or the flu should go away in a short time. A cough that persists or unexplained hoarseness could be a sign of something far more serious like lung cancer. Most people are familiar enough with their body’s reaction to sickness to realize that a cough is lasting longer than it should be.
3. Bathroom Habits
Again, we’re all familiar with how our bodies normally function and it should not be hard to pick up on changes that have us heading to the bathroom more or less frequently. Another thing you never want to ignore is signs of any blood when you are using the bathroom. That’s something you should talk to your doctor about without delay.
A bit of pain here and there is something we all have to deal with occasionally, especially for people over 40. Unexplained pain is what’s most concerning. When you experience persistent pain and have no idea why it is happening, that’s a sign that a visit to the doctor’s office is in order.
5. Sore Throat
This is another symptom that’s easy to ignore if it’s the time of year when colds and flu are going around. The key concern is a sore throat that is persistent – it lasts longer than you would typically expect. A sore throat is something people may not associate with something particularly dangerous but it can be a symptom of throat cancer.
6. Weight Loss
For some people this might seem like an unexpected blessing, but it could be the opposite. Dropping five or 10 pounds without trying could be triggered by a thyroid problem – which is also something you should not ignore. But it could also be an early sign of cancer. Losing 10 pounds or more unexpectedly is definitely cause for concern and could be linked to cancer of the stomach, pancreas, esophagus, or lungs.
7. Problems Swallowing
There is more than one cause for this problem and all of them are worth talking to your doctor about. The one people fear the most would be that it is a sign of cancer – in this case, cancer of the esophagus, throat or stomach.
We all know when we should see blood and when we shouldn’t. It’s those time when it’s unexpected that really gets your attention, and it should. Coughing up blood could be a sign of lung cancer. Any kind of unusual bleeding, no matter where it occurs, should always be discussed with your doctor.
9. Skin Changes
In this case, it’s changes to freckles, moles, warts and other skin irregularities that are of most concern. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that those kinds of changes can be signaling the presence of skin cancer.