Are You Ignoring These 10 Cancer Warning Signs?

Julie Bitely

| 2 min read

Warning signs of cancer
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

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
No Personal Healthcare Advice or Other Advice
This Web site provides general educational information on health-related issues and provides access to health-related resources for the convenience of our users. This site and its health-related information and resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice or for the care that patients receive from their physicians or other health care providers.
This site and its health-related information resources are not meant to be the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, or to carry out any professional health care advice or service in the state where you live. Nothing in this Web site is to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new treatment, or if you have any questions regarding a health condition. You should not disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice, because of something you read in this site.