Cancer can strike anyone at any age. It is important to know the seven warning signs of cancer so that you can have a chance to identify the disease quickly if it does occur in you or a loved one. There are often no symptoms of cancer when it is in its earliest stage, making these seven signs even more key. Doctors have come up with the seven warning signs of cancer in an effort to educate the public to know what to look for, as well as a way to remember them.
Two of the seven warning signs of cancer involve a time frame, but not a specific one. One is having a nagging cough over a period of time that just will not go away. It may come with some blood that you cough up and it may make your voice hoarse. If you have a cough that you can't shake and don't feel it is associated with a cold or flu then after a few days you need to see a doctor. This could indicate laryngeal cancer. Another one of the seven signs is a sore inside the mouth or throat that does not heal in the time that what you would expect one to. If a sore begins to feel painful and is even enlarging while not healing it is a possible sign of cancer of the mouth and throat.
Changes in moles or warts could be an indicator of cancer, especially skin cancer. The size of the mole or wart is something that you want to keep an eye on. Is it bigger than half an inch? If it is it needs to be looked at. What do the borders of it look like? If they are well-defined then this is a potential cancer omen. Color of the affected area and how it appears throughout are also important. Doctors have an easy way to remember this cancer sign. It is called ABCD for asymmetry, border, color and diameter.
Also notice any changes in bowel habits: if you go more often or less often, have different colored stools than normal, are constipated or have diarrhea, and perhaps even blood in the urine or stools. An unusual discharge of blood, which can be from any part of your body, or the presence of blood in urine or stools is a warning sign of cancer in many cases and should not be ignored. Bladder and kidney cancer cause these symptoms and any changes in the gastrointestinal system could mean colon cancer or pancreatic cancer.
If you experience a thickening or a lump in your breast or anywhere else in your body this is a classic warning sign of breast cancer. Indigestion or having a very hard time swallowing is another, where you feel full after eating just a little bit or have great pressure in your chest or your throat when you try to swallow. These are signs of possible lymphoma.
Doctors have another word trick to help you remember the seven signs of cancer. They are put in such an order that the first words in each warning sign spell out the word "caution." They are a change in bowel habits or bladder habits, a sore that does not heal right away, unusual bleeding or discharge from your body, thickening or lump found in the breast or elsewhere. Indigestion or having a hard time with swallowing, obvious changes in a mole or in a wart, and finally nagging cough.