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Are You Ignoring These Symptoms? It Could Be Cancer

According to experts as well as many studies, women tend to fare better than men in the case of being conscious about health. Mary Daly, MD, who is an oncologist at the Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, says that women are found to be keener to have those symptoms checked which might be potentially serious. This is not right, though, when it comes to younger women. They believe that cancer is associated with old age, but the truth is that many young people do get affected from cancer.

Here you will find some cancer symptoms which women tend to ignore:

1.      Weight loss for no apparent reason

If you have not changed your food habits or increased exercise and still lose weight drastically, you must consult a doctor, is what Ranit Mishori, MD, from the Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, suggests. Though it could be because of a thyroid problem or some other issue, let your doctor  rule out the possibility by conducting necessary tests.

2.      Bloating

This is a common problem with most women and they take it in their stride as a part of life, but it could be a sign of ovarian cancer. If you feel bloated every day and this goes on for more than a month, you need to consult a doctor.  A CT Scan and some blood tests might be needed to verify the severity of your condition.

3.      Changes in the breast

Apart from obvious symptoms like lumps, there are many other symptoms which could point towards cancer. If the skin of the breast appears thick, or red, it could be a rare, inflammatory breast cancer. If there is a rash that stays for several weeks, that also must be examined. Also, changes in the appearance of the nipple, or an abnormal discharge from the nipple, could be worrisome symptoms. Your doctor might conduct tests like mammogram, MRI, Ultrasound and a biopsy also, if needed.

4.      Unusual vaginal bleeding

In the case of pre-menopausal women, bleeding between periods could be a possible sign of endometrial cancer. Bleeding from the GI tract could also be mistaken for bleeding due to periods. Bleeding after menopause is also a symptom that should not be ignored. Depending upon your history as well as symptoms, your doctor might run an Ultrasound or a biopsy.

5.      Changes in the skin

It is common knowledge that changes in moles on the skin is a sign of skin cancer, but changes in skin pigmentation should also be observed carefully, according to Mary Daly. She says that if you develop conditions like unwarranted scaling or bleeding from your skin, you must have it checked. More so, if this continues for more than a few weeks.

6.      Problems in swallowing or hoarse throat

Difficulty in swallowing or hoarseness could be a symptom of the cancer of esophagus, according to Leonard Litchtenfield, MD, who is the Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the American Cancer Society. When you consult your physician, he might take a chest X-ray and examine the GI tract to rule out the possibility of cancer.

7.      Blood in urine or stools

If you find blood in your urine or stools, it could be because of colon cancer, warns Mishori. It could be from your vagina if you are having your menstrual period, but if that is not the case, you must have yourself checked to rule out colon cancer, bladder cancer or kidney cancer. you might need to undergo tests like colonoscopy and other exams.

8.      Indigestion

If you suffer from indigestion for a prolonged period of time for no reason, you must consult a doctor as it could be a sign of cancer of throat, stomach or esophagus. It will be up to your doctor to decide about the tests to be conducted after taking your history and examining you carefully.

9.      Changes in the mouth

According to the American Cancer Society, finding white patches or spots on the tongue or inside the mouth could be leukoplakia, which leads to oral cancer. This is particularly important for those who smoke.

You should also not ignore symptoms like wheezing, chronic chest pain, frequent infections and pelvic or abdominal pain if these last for more than a few weeks.

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