You know how your body feels “normally,” and when something doesn’t seem right, it could be a sign that there’s a problem. Because your body doesn’t “talk” to you, it lets you know in other ways when there’s an illness or injury. These signs and symptoms can be obvious or subtle. To catch them, you must be aware of what they look like. Cancer is one of the things we’re supposed to always be alert for, but with so many different kinds of the disease, it’s hard to watch everything. However, most Common Cancers have similar signs and symptoms.
Depending on where the cancer is and how it affects the rest of the body, you’ll notice certain changes. If you notice any of these symptoms, check with your doctor to see if they’re caused by cancer or something else.
1. The Most Common Cancers
Cancer is a cellular disease, so it can affect any part of the body. It happens when cells divide abnormally and spread into the tissues around them.
At the core, the disease begins when changes to our DNA structure occur. Because it’s so deep-seated, it can take a while before we recognize there’s a problem.
The other reason we don’t always recognize when a person has cancer is that it’s unique to them. The changes happen at the genetic level. As cancer grows and spreads, each of these changes is individual and based on the rest of the genetic and health factors of the person.
Top 5 Most Common Cancers
There are some kinds of cancer that are so rare we don’t know much about them. Others are common enough that a trained physician or oncologist can often spot the signs early, such as:
- Skin cancer
- Breast cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Lung cancer
- Colorectal cancer
These five cancers are the most frequently diagnosed currently. If you know the signs and symptoms to watch for and get to the doctor early enough, you could catch the problem before it spreads too far.
2. Non-Visible Signs of Cancer
We’re taught to look for things like lumps and swelling as warning signs of cancer. But many of the more common types of cancer start out as invisible symptoms we often ignore.
Although they can mean a variety of things, if you notice a combination of any of the following, you should make an appointment and talk to your doctor:
- Extreme fatigue and feelings of tiredness no matter how much sleep you get
- Lack of appetite or difficulty swallowing food
- Pain that doesn’t come from any known cause
- Vision or hearing changes
None of these symptoms are easily observable from an outside view. It’s up to you to catch them and put them together. If they’re accompanied by physical signs, too, it’s past time to see the doctor.
3. Visible Signs of Cancer
In addition to your subjective complaints, the doctor will look for anything that shows you might have cancer. Recognizing the early signs yourself helps you get treatment faster.
While every cancer is distinct, most will appear as one or more of these visible patterns:
- Substantial weight changes of ten pounds or more without effort
- Nausea and vomiting and/or pain in the abdomen area
- Lumps and swelling, typically near lymph nodes
- Changes in the skin, such as a new mole appearing or a color or shape changes in an old one, sores that won’t heal, or yellow skin colors
- Bruising or bleeding for no apparent reason
- Long-term coughing or hoarseness
- Changes in your bathroom habits (constipation, diarrhea, frequent urination, blood in stool or urine)
- Fever, chills, or night sweats
- Sores, bleeding, numbness, or pain in the mouth
Early detection of cancer is crucial to your recovery. There are tests that can be done before you have any signs, such as a colorectal or prostate screening and mammograms.
If you’ve been diagnosed with cancer, or you think you have it, talk to your doctor about treatment options.
They may suggest chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. Cannabis is also used as a supplemental therapy due to its multiple health benefits, as discussed here by Veriheal.
No matter which cancer journey you find yourself on, the earlier you get started, the easier the path ahead may become.
It all starts by getting wellness screenings and recognizing the signs and symptoms. Every cancer is different, but knowing your body and paying attention to how it speaks to you can save your life.