When it comes to cancer, no one wants to be caught off guard with its diagnosis. Unfortunately, many people are initially surprised when they hear that they have the signs of a particular type of cancer only to later realize that the signs had been there for quite some time. Because early detection is often the key to a better prognosis, it is imperative that the following early warning signs of cancer not be ignored.
While some fatigue can be considered almost normal given today’s busy schedules, if a person suddenly finds that they must take a long nap in order to accomplish their responsibilities, it is cause for concern. An American Cancer Society report noted that this could be a sign of cancers such as leukemia, colon or stomach cancer. Other cancers that cause a great deal of blood loss could also be at play.
Low-grade fever that lasts
A low-grade fever — typically classified as a body temperature between 99.8 and 100.8 degrees Fahrenheit — can be a sign of a number of infections. In addition, it can also be a sign of cancers such as Hodgkin’s disease, leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Because it could be the first sign of such cancer, it is important to get a recurring low-grade fever checked out.
Problems with swallowing
In addition to having problems swallowing, other disturbing signs that should not be ignored include lip sores that do not heal within the normal time parameters, a sore throat that does not go away or that recurs, persistent hoarseness that does not go away or that comes back, bleeding that is unusual or unexplained mouth pain. According to the National Institute on Health, the above signs could be due to oral cancers such as throat, esophageal and tongue cancers. Additionally, other, non-cancerous causes could be the reason.
Weight loss that cannot be explained
Though it can seem to be a paradox given the epidemic of obesity that is noted across the globe, a person who cannot explain their sudden weight loss should be concerned. While in normal circumstances losing weight would be a welcome sight, if an individual finds themselves suddenly losing weight without trying to diet, exercise more or perform other lifestyle changes, it could be due to cancer. The American Cancer Society notes that this type of sudden weight loss could be a sign of stomach, lung, esophageal or pancreatic cancers, though it could be related to other serious health conditions as well.
If a person notes any of the above signs, it is best to see a doctor as soon as possible. In fact, any significant bodily changes not brought on intentionally by a person should be brought to the attention of a physician as soon as possible.