The female body constantly changes and these changes become more obvious as the woman ages. Even though some of them are perfectly normal, there are some that should never be taken for granted because they could indicate that cancer is growing in the body.
Because of this, it’s important for a woman to monitor the changes her body goes through. The human body has a way of telling us that something is wrong. When we notice a new symptom or a new change, it’s important to educate yourself about it by consulting your doctor.
The following cancer signs are mostly ignored by most women.
Changes In the Breasts
In many cases, a lump on the breast doesn’t mean cancer. But if you notice a lump on your breast, you should consult your doctor. Also, if you notice any nipple discharge, nipples turning inward, or any redness or scaling of your nipple, make sure you tell your doctor that as well.
According to Marleen Myers, an oncologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, women are natural bloaters. But if the bloating does not subside and includes weight loss or bleeding, consult your doctor. Constant bloating can be one of the cancer signs. It could be colon cancer, ovarian cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, or even pancreatic cancer.
Bleeding Between Periods
If you’re continuously spotting between periods, go speak to your doctor. Any bleeding that is not part of the menstrual cycle can have different causes. Your doctor will want to rule out endometrial cancer, so don’t leave anything out.
Changes In Skin
You might notice a mole has grown bigger, or you’ve developed new spots on your body. This may seem natural, but these are common cancer signs. Your doctor will want to perform a biopsy as soon as possible, so don’t wait to tell him/her.
Blood In the Urine Or Stool
In most cases, blood in the urine or stool is caused by hemorrhoids. But it can also be a sign of colon cancer. If you’re bleeding from an area that doesn’t usually bleed, consult your doctor. Especially if this bleeding lasts for more than two days, Myers says.
Lymph Nodes Changing
In most cases, the lymph nodes change when they become infected. The infections are usually harmless and the body fights them off. But in some cases, like leukemia and lymphoma, they also cause the lymph nodes to swell. If the swelling is present for at least a month, speak to your doctor.
It’s natural to have trouble swallowing at times. But if it is happening often, and vomiting and weight loss are also present, you may have throat or stomach cancer. If these symptoms have not subsided after a few weeks, go speak to your doctor so he/she can properly examine you.
Unexpected Weight Loss
A lot of women wish that they could magically lose weight. But if this weight disappears without any extra exercise or a change in your diet, something might be wrong. In most cases, unexpected weight loss is caused by stress. But there are times it is caused by pancreatic or colon cancer.
Heartburn can be caused by excessive food or alcohol consumption. It will eventually go away with time and rest. If the heartburn does not go away, or it gets worse, it could be stomach, ovaries or throat cancer. In addition, constant heartburn will damage the lining of the esophagus, which can develop into Barrett’s esophagus. This condition raises the risk of developing throat cancer.
Changes of the Mouth
For women who smoke, look for white, yellow or gray patches inside your mouth. Canker sores will also develop, which could be a sign of oral cancer.
Developing a Fever
When people develop the flu, they have a fever that will last a couple of days. But a fever that does not subside can mean many different things. Leukemia and other blood cancers can be the cause of the fever.
Most people who develop coughs will see it go away within four weeks. Any cough that lasts longer than a month should not be ignored. If you’re a smoker or are having shortness of breath with this cough, consult your doctor. A cough is the most common sign of lung cancer.