5 Possible Signs of Cancer You Shouldn’t Ignore

Related article: 10 Anti-Cancer Foods You Should Always Eat

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Most of the time, having a healthy lifestyle is not enough to make us immune from all the cancer risks. Stories about healthy individuals who were suddenly  crippled by cancer is not new to us anymore. In fact, any cancer screening won’t work in decreasing cancer cases if people don’t even know what are the signs and symptoms to watch out for. Signs like hoarseness of voice, sudden weight loss and blood in the stool are just some of widely known warning signs of cancer that we are quite familiar with. However, there are some signs, especially if they persist, that are often linked to cancer development. Some of these signs don’t raise red flags immediately because people commonly associate them with more common and treatable conditions. Falling to this trap can mean our lives or those of our loved ones’  so knowing what are the signs to watch out for can be a life-saving way to prevent cancer.

Bloating

A distended and painful tummy can indicate something other than cancer but if you consistently experience this for unknown reasons, it won’t harm if you go talk to your doctor. Tumors in the colon can be big enough to block the passage of both solid wastes and flatus. Once they build up, a person will experience a bloated  abdomen, a symptom which people often take for granted. Other signs of colon cancer includes blood in stool, urinary urgency and a significant change in the form of the stool. Doctors often recommend that people, especially those that are 50 years old and above,  should undergo colonoscopy every 10 years to identify polyps and other colon cancer risks. Those who have family history of colon cancer, on the other hand, should start having colonoscopy 10  years before the age when their relative was diagnosed with colon cancer.



Changes in fingernails

You better be careful in applying too much color to your fingernails from now on because in a medical point of view, the color and characteristics of your nails can be a great indicator of your own health status.  For example, black or brown streaks (like what is displayed above) can indicate skin cancer or melanoma. Enlargement at the ends of your nail and a significant curving your the nail itself can be a warning sign of lung cancer. Damage or cancer to the liver can also be predicted if you always have pale skin and fingernails.


Back pain

We all get back aches every once in a while due to wrong body mechanics or unnecessary body strains but when it comes to cancer, persistence is the name of the game. According to Dr. Oz, Oprah’s famous doctor, back pain that is not relieved by anti-inflammatory agents and is accompanied by yellow skin or pale stools is considered a warning sign that shouts pancreatic cancer. The pain is usually located at the upper abdomen because pancreas is located behind stomach but it can radiate to the back if pain becomes severe. It is different from the ordinary back pain because it is relieved by bending over, unlike the normal back ache that is not alleviated by changing positions. In addition to that, pain located at the upper back, if occurs consistently, can also signify a developing form of lung cancer.


Chronic heartburn

Heartburn is not something that you want to experience after eating but if  you have an early form of esophageal or gastroesophageal cancer, chances are you will experience this frequently. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or most commonly known as heartburn is caused by stomach content reaching the lower portions of the esophagus, leading to painful episodes and acidic taste to the mouth after a full meal. This phenomenon can lead to the development of  Barrett’s esophagus, which is a step closer towards the diagnosis of esophageal cancer.

Frequent fever

Frequent fever or experience of flu-like symptoms that can last for longer than a week can be a warning sign for cancer. Leukemia is the cancer of the blood that initially attacks the bone marrow. White blood cells in the body will be forced to multiply and disrupt our body’s defense system against infections. According to Dr. Oz, flu-like symptoms can also alert people of a developing cancer of lymph nodes, also known as lymphoma.  Other signs  include unexplained weight loss, night sweats, lumps in your throat, nosebleeds or bloody gums.