Are You Ignoring These 10 Cancer Warning Signs?

People experiencing early cancer symptoms often chalk them up to something less serious, a recent study found.

Researchers used a questionnaire to quiz recipients about 17 different health symptoms they’d experienced in the past three months, with no context of cancer mentioned. For each symptom, people were asked their opinion about its cause, how serious they thought it was, and whether or not they’d scheduled a doctor’s visit to address it.

Over half had experienced one of ten “alarm” symptoms, yet only two percent thought cancer could be a possible cause. Just over half had contacted a doctor about their symptom, although this varied based on the health concern.

The ten “alarm” symptoms researchers included in the questionnaire were:

  • Cough or hoarseness
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Unexplained pain
  • Change in bladder habits
  • Unexplained lump
  • Change in the appearance of a mole
  • Sore that does not heal
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Difficulty swallowing

While experiencing any of these symptoms doesn’t immediately indicate cancer, it could be a sign of some sort of health condition and it’s best to get it checked out by a doctor. Catching conditions early, including cancer, typically leads to better health outcomes overall.

Regular doctor check-ups and routine cancer screenings, such as mammograms and colonoscopies are other important ways to be vigilant in catching cancer early. Lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise also play an important role in cancer prevention.

Have you been ignoring changes to your health assuming it’s probably no big deal? Take the time to see your doctor and move forward knowing you’re doing everything you can to stay healthy.

Photo credit: AJU_Photography

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