Women’s Cancer Symptoms Women Ignore

See a Doctor
Women are usually more diligent than men in taking care of their own health. But many women ignore symptoms that may be cancerous. If a new health problem develops, get checked out. The sooner the problem is explained, the sooner treatment can begin. If caught early, many forms of cancer can be cured.

The following slides discuss some of the symptoms that a woman should consult her doctor about if she is experiencing. Just because a woman has these symptoms does not mean she has cancer, but it is important to be evaluated by a doctor to rule out cancer.

No.1 – Unexplained Weight Loss
Unexplained weight loss can be a symptom of cancer. Many women will be happy to lose weight without trying, but this should be checked out when a woman loses weight without dieting or exercising. Cancer cells usually consume most of the body’s energy supply, which can lead to this weight loss. The doctor will perform tests to rule out cancer and to determine if the weight loss is caused by other conditions, such as an overactive thyroid.

No.2 – Abdominal Bloating
Many women experience bloating, which is a normal part of the monthly cycle. However, if the bloating includes every day and lasts for several weeks, consult your doctor. Signs of ovarian cancer include bloating and other digestive problems, abdominal or pelvic pain, feeling full quickly even when you don’t eat much, and urgency to urinate. Your doctor may order a CT scan and blood tests to help diagnose the disease.

No 3. – Breast Changes
Women should do regular breast self-exams to check for lumps, but they should also be aware of other breast changes. Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer include redness and thickening of the breast skin. Many women have breast lumps that appear on and off during the cycle. If a new lump doesn’t go away for a month or so, but slowly grows, it needs to be checked out right away. Other breast changes may include a rash that lasts for weeks, changes in the nipple, or discharge when not breastfeeding. Tell your doctor about any breast changes you notice. Your doctor will examine your breasts and may order tests such as mammograms, ultrasounds, MRIs, and biopsies.

Item 4 – Bleeding between periods or other abnormal bleeding
If you normally have regular periods, bleeding between periods is something to watch out for and needs to be checked. The same goes for postmenopausal bleeding. Early signs and symptoms of endometrial cancer are frequent spotting between periods.

Women also tend to overlook gastrointestinal bleeding, which can be mistaken for menstrual bleeding. Gastrointestinal bleeding can be a sign of colorectal cancer.

Tell your doctor about these types of bleeding. Your doctor may order an ultrasound or biopsy to check for endometrial or colorectal cancer.

No. 5 – Skin Changes
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, and moles that are changing, irregularly shaped or colored, or asymmetrically shaped are common signs of skin cancer. However, other skin changes may also be signs, including changes in skin pigmentation, bleeding, or excessive scaling. Since melanoma is a form of skin cancer and can be aggressive, do not wait more than a few weeks to see your doctor after you notice changes in a mole.

No.6 – Difficulty swallowing
Difficulty swallowing may be a symptom of gastrointestinal (GI) cancers, such as esophageal cancer. Tell your doctor about your symptoms. Your doctor will perform a physical examination and may order a chest x-ray or endoscopy.

No. 7 – Blood Flowing to the Wrong Place
If you notice blood in anything that is “off”, see your doctor. Blood in your stool may be benign, such as hemorrhoids, or it may be a sign of colon cancer. In this case, your doctor may order a colonoscopy. Blood in the urine can be mistaken for menstrual blood, but it can also be a sign of bladder or kidney cancer. Coughing up blood should also be mentioned to your doctor.

No.8–Gnawing Abdominal Pain and Depression in Patients
When depression is accompanied by abdominal pain, it may be a symptom of pancreatic cancer. This connection is not entirely clear, but if you experience these symptoms, tell your doctor to rule out possible cancer and receive treatment for depression if necessary.

When dyspepsia is not caused by an identifiable cause, such as eating fatty foods or pregnancy, it may be a cause for concern. Unexplained indigestion may be an early sign of cancer of the esophagus, stomach, or throat.

No.10 – Oral changes
White patches in the mouth or on the tongue may be a sign of a precancerous condition called leukoplakia, which can lead to oral cancer. This condition is more common in smokers. If you notice these white patches, tell your doctor or dentist.

No. 11 —- pain
Unexplained pain can be a sign of cancer. Most of the time it is not, but if the pain persists and has no known cause, it should be checked by a doctor.

No.12 – Changes in Lymph Nodes
Swollen lymph nodes or lumps on the lymph nodes in the armpits or neck may be a sign of cancer. If the lump is getting bigger and has been there for more than a month, see your doctor. This could be due to an infection, but it could also be a sign of other diseases, such as cancer.

Item 13 – Fever.
Fever is unexplained, such as a cold or the flu, and can be a sign of cancer. An early symptom of some blood cancers (such as leukemia and lymphoma) is a fever. A fever may also occur when the cancer spreads (metastasizes) from its original site to other parts of the body.

You should also alert your doctor if you notice yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice) or a change in the color of your stool.

If you have an unexplained fever, your doctor may order a chest x-ray, CT scan, MRI, or other tests.

No.14 – Fatigue
Fatigue is a symptom of many diseases and medical conditions, but it can also be a sign of some cancers, such as leukemia or some cancers of the colon or stomach. If you experience unexplained fatigue, tell your doctor.

No.15–Persistent Cough
If you don’t have colds, allergies, or the flu, and your cough lasts longer than three to four weeks, consult your doctor, especially if you smoke. Your doctor will examine your throat, check your lung function, and may order x-rays.