Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the U.S. (heart disease being the first). Thanks to routine screenings, and advancements in treatment, receiving a cancer diagnosis no longer equates to a death sentence. According to the CDC, cancer deaths dropped by 27% from 2001 to 2020. Early detection by knowing the signs can make a difference between life and death.
Keep reading for some common cancer symptoms.
A Change in Bathroom Habits
Significant changes in bodily functions may indicate cancers, including the bladder, prostate, or colon. Signs include continued diarrhea or constipation, red or black blood in your stool, or blood in your urine.
Feeling something stuck in your throat or having problems swallowing for over two weeks could be a warning of throat, stomach, or lung cancer.
Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer type and affects both women and men. According to the CDC, different people experience different symptoms, while some have none. Some common signs include:
- A new lump in the breast or armpit
- Any change in size or shape
- Swelling of part of the breast
- Nipple discharge
- Pain or irritation in the area
Pay attention to changes in the appearance of a birthmark or mole. One of the symptoms of melanoma (skin cancer) is when one half of a mole or mark looks different from the other. Similarly, get it checked out immediately if it has grown, bleeds, or has generally changed over time.
Feeling exhausted is entirely different from fatigue. If you never feel rested following a good night’s sleep, this could be an early sign of cancer. While there are many underlying causes for persistent fatigue, it’s best to consult a physician in any case.
Is Your Body Different?
The symptoms we’ve mentioned here are by no means comprehensive. If you notice a change in how your body looks, feels, or behaves, and you’re worried about it, arrange for an assessment by your doctor.