Some cancer symptoms are quite noticeable and obvious, such as abnormal lumps or moles on your body. However, other symptoms can be quite mild, and you may not even realise that they are connected to a more serious illness. In order to ensure that you can get the best and earliest treatment if you do develop cancer at any point, it is important to be aware of some of the more subtle and easy to miss warning signs. The good news is that these signs are more likely to be harmless than a symptom of cancer, but since they might be occasionally signifying something more serious, it’s a good idea to get checked out by a doctor.
Any changes in your appetite, whether you lose your appetite or feel full much faster than you used to, are worth investigating further. While this can be caused by things like stress and anxiety, stomach bugs, and other less serious issues, it can also be a sign of cancer in the abdomen such as intestinal or ovarian cancers. An enlarged spleen, which is associated with some types of blood cancer, can also lead to appetite changes. If your loss of appetite is the result of cancer, Circle Health Group cancer care services can help. Circle Health Group offers a range of cancer care services and treatments for different types of cancer in a private, comfortable health care setting with top medical professionals.
There are a number of less serious issues that might be behind bleeding gums, such as brushing your teeth too vigorously, or plaque from not brushing enough causing your gums to become irritated. However, in some cases, gum bleeding can be a sign of certain types of cancer, such as leukaemia. Leukaemia causes your blood platelets to be lower than they should, which makes it harder for you to stop bleeding in some parts of your body, including the gums. This cancer can also lead to gum swelling, which can cause them to bleed more easily.
Unintentional Weight Loss
If you are losing weight even though you have not made any changes to your diet and aren’t exercising any more than usual, this could be an early warning sign of cancer. Most commonly, cancers of the stomach, lung, oesophagus, and pancreas will lead to this symptom. This is caused by an imbalance in your metabolism, as the energy that is demanded by the cancer is not being replaced. If you are concerned about unexplained or unintentional weight loss, then it’s best to speak to your doctor.
While pelvic cramps are not uncommon during your period, you should see a doctor if it is persistent and painful, or if it occurs when you are not menstruating. In women, pelvic cramping can often be caused by less serious issues such as an upset stomach, constipation, or natural hormonal changes. In some cases, it may be related to a condition such as endometriosis. However, it can also be an early warning sign of ovarian cancer, especially if you experience bloating.
Headaches That Get Worse
Headaches are a common ailment and are not usually caused by anything serious. In fact, the main causes of headaches are dehydration and eye strain. If you’ve not drunk any water for hours or have been using your laptop all day then this is more likely to be the cause of any headache you’re suffering from, and it will probably go away if you drink some water and take an over-the-counter painkiller. However, headaches that change in frequency, intensity, or type should be investigated further as they may signify a tumour. As tumours grow, they cause an increase in pressure in the brain, which activates pain receptors and causes a headache.
Nipple or Breast Changes
Although it is not always the case, any changes to your nipple, areola, skin, or shape of your breast might be a sign of breast cancer. This could include changes in texture, colour, inward pulling, or retraction. Since these changes might not always be obviously noticeable, it is a good idea to get into the habit of conducting a regular breast check to look for any differences. Any changes to your breast or new lumps that appear should be checked by your doctor. There are many cases where they can be caused by something less serious, but it’s always worth getting cancer ruled out at least.
Some signs of cancer can be cognitive. Forgetfulness and short-term memory loss might be a sign of cancer in the frontal or temporal lobes of the brain, which are responsible for memory function. This can often gradually worsen over time.
Cancer can occur in many areas of the body and will often have early symptoms that can easily be overlooked. Being aware of these subtle early symptoms could help you get earlier treatment.