Your chances of treating cancer increase the earlier you detect it. This is why it’s so important to look out for early warning signs – especially as you get older, as this is when you’re more at risk. Below are just a few ways to detect cancer early.
Take recommended screenings
There are various tests that can be carried out by doctors to catch signs of cancer early. Some of these screening tests may detect cancer before there are any noticeable symptoms. Cancers that you can be screened for include cervical cancer, bowel cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer.
Monitor your moles
Skin cancer is the most common cancer. It is also one of the most easily detectable – it presents itself in the form of growths known as melanomas. These are typically rough, scaly, unevenly shaped blotches on the skin that may bleed. Moles can sometimes transform into melanomas so it’s important to check your moles for any unusual changes. A mole that grows or changes shape is not always a sign of cancer, but it can be, and so shouldn’t be ignored.
Watch your weight
Cancer cells consume huge amounts of energy compared to normal cells, which often results in healthy cells being starved. On top of feeling tired and achy, many people experience weight loss because of the extra calories being burned by the cancer. If you’ve been eating the same amount of food and exercising the same amount, but you are losing weight, you may want to talk to a doctor.
Look out for blood in places it shouldn’t be
Certain types of cancer can result in blood showing up in places it shouldn’t. Blood within urine could be a sign of kidney or bladder cancer. Blood within stools is meanwhile a common sign of bowel cancer – you can find more information about bowel cancer here at Check4Cancer. Coughing up blood is not a good sign either and is something that you should check out immediately. Blood in such places isn’t always the result of cancer, however it is generally not a good thing and is worth checking out regardless.
Be wary of a persistent cough
A cough that lasts more than three weeks could be a sign of a respiratory disease – which could include cancer. This coughing may get worse and may be accompanied by shortness of breath. Doctors will be able to run tests to find out exactly what the problem is – it may just be a nasty chest infection that needs antibiotics. This guide at Healthline explains more as to when you should worry about a cough.
Get lumps checked out
The most obvious sign of cancer is an unusual lump. If you notice an odd lump, it’s always worth getting it checked out by a doctor. It’s highly possible that the lump may be something harmless such as a lipoma, wart, keloid scar or cyst. However, just in case it’s cancer, it’s worth getting it looked at. Cancerous lumps tend to be hard and painless to touch and may seem to grow steadily – look out for these symptoms.