Cancer can kill anyone, it doesn’t matter if you’re rich and famous, or the lowest of the low. Once you have it, you’re a dead man walking. However, the risk can be averted if it can be detected as early as possible, but sadly, most of us disregards these ‘red flag’ symptoms until it is too late.
It may sound like overreacting, but no! Experts have revealed 10 red flag symptoms that may mean you have cancer. Check out below
1. Persistent cough – Lung Cancer
Apparently, most lung cancers do not cause any kind of symptoms until they have spread too much to be cured. But, signs do occur in other people in the early stages of lung cancer. A persistent cough that does not go away, or changes in a chronic cough or ‘smoker’s cough’ can be an early indication of the disease. Chest pain related to coughing, deep breathing or laughing as well as hoarseness and coughing up blood are early warning signs.
2. Change in the appearance of a mole – Skin Cancer
Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer, it can appear anywhere on the body, but they are most commonly seen on the back, legs, arms and face and even underneath a nail. Despite being rare, they often spread to other organs in the body, making them more deadly. And the appearance of a new mole or a change in an existing mole is the most common sign .
Signs to look out for include a mole that is:
- Getting bigger
- Changing shape
- Changing color
- Bleeding or becoming crusty
- Itchy or painful
A helpful way to tell the difference between a normal mole and a melanoma is the ‘ABCDE’ checklist:
Asymmetrical – melanomas have two very different halves and are an irregular shape.
Border – melanomas have a notched or ragged border.
Colors – melanomas will be a mix of two or more colors.
Diameter – melanomas are often larger than 6mm (1/4 inch) in diameter.
Enlargement or elevation – a mole that changes size over time is more likely to be a melanoma.
3. Persistent change in bowel habits – Bowel Cancer
There are three main indications of bowel cancer and they are blood in the stools or feces, a change in bowel habit, such as going more frequently, or having looser stools, and abdominal pain. Patients with the disease are mostly over the age of 60, and they will present to their doctor with one of the following symptom combinations:
- A persistent change in bowel habit, causing a person to go to the toilet more often and pass looser stools, together with blood on or in the stools
- A persistent change in bowel habit without blood in their stools, but with abdominal pain
- Blood in the stools without other hemorrhoid symptoms, such as soreness, discomfort, pain, itching, or a lump hanging down outside the rectum
- Abdominal pain, discomfort or bloating always provoked by eating, and sometimes resulting in a reduction in the amount eaten and weight loss