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15 Cancer Symptoms Women Often Ignore

Nowadays, cancer has become the most widespread disease of all.

According to various studies, women often ignore these common indicators of cancer!

The most common cancers in 2016 are projected to be breast cancer, lung and bronchus cancer, prostate cancer, colon and rectum cancer, bladder cancer, melanoma of the skin, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, thyroid cancer, kidney and renal pelvis cancer, leukemia, endometrial cancer, and pancreatic cancer.

Being able to recognize early warning signs of cancer might be able to save a life! It is important to stay informed, so here are 15 early warning signs of cancer that women shouldn’t ignore.

Most breast lumps aren’t cancer, but your doctor should always check them.

Bloating

Marleen Meyers, MD, an oncologist at NYU Langone Medical Center says that women are natural bloaters.

But she also says that If your symptoms don’t get better with time, or if they happen with weight loss or bleeding, see a doctor.

Constant bloating can sometimes mean ovarian cancer. You’ll have a pelvic exam as well as blood tests, and sometimes an ultrasound.

Between-Period Bleeding

If you’re still getting periods, tell your doctor if you’re spotting them.

Bleeding that’s not a part of your usual monthly cycle can have many causes, but your doctor will want to rule out endometrial cancer (cancer of the lining of your uterus).

If you dread your period because you have such heavy menstrual bleeding, talk with your doctor. There are many effective treatments for excessive bleeding (menorrhagia).

Signs and symptoms of menorrhagia may include:

  • Soaking through one or more sanitary pads or tampons every hour for several consecutive hours
  • Needing to use double sanitary protection to control your menstrual flow
  • Needing to wake up to change sanitary protection during the night
  • Bleeding for longer than a week
  • Passing blood clots larger than a quarter
  • Restricting daily activities due to heavy menstrual flow
  • Symptoms of anemia, such as tiredness, fatigue or shortness of breath

When to see a doctor

Seek medical help before your next scheduled exam if you experience:

  • Vaginal bleeding so heavy it soaks at least one pad or tampon an hour for more than two hours.
  • Bleeding between periods or irregular vaginal bleeding
  • Any vaginal bleeding after menopause

Skin Changes

A change in the size, shape, or color of a mole or other spot is a common sign of skin cancer.

Skin changes color usually because there’s something going on in the body.

For example, a person may look yellow because of liver problems, blue because of breathing problems, bruised because of blood disorders, or red because of skin problems.

Changes in the skin can be due to tumor growth, sun exposure, or the side effects of treatment.

Some color changes may improve over time, while others may be long lasting.

What to look for

  • Yellowish skin and/or the whites of the eyes. May also have deep orange to brown urine (pee) and/or white or clay-colored (light brown or gray-looking) stools (poop).
  • Bruises or areas of blue or purple skin that have no known cause
  • Very pale or blue-tinged skin, lips, or nail beds. Often with trouble breathing.
  • Redness or rash on skin
  • Swelling in an area that’s discolored
  • Itching

What the patient can do

  • Clean the skin gently with warm water, gentle soap, and a soft cloth.
  • Rinse the red or rash-covered area carefully and pat dry.
  • Apply water-repellent salve, such as petroleum jelly or A+D® ointment. Expose the affected skin to air whenever possible.
  • Protect the affected area from heat and cold.
  • Wear loose-fitting, soft clothing.
  • Apply medicines prescribed for skin reactions.
  • Protect all of your skin from the sun. (For instance, wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and long-sleeved shirts when outside.)
  • Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher on any skin exposed to the sun. Re-apply every 2 hours if in the sun, and after bathing or sweating.

Blood in Urine or Stool

Talk to your doctor if you’re bleeding from a part of your body that normally doesn’t, especially if the bleeding lasts more than a day or two,

Meyers says. Bloody stool is often from hemorrhoids, but it can also be a symptom of colon cancer. Bloody urine is usually the first sign of cancer of the bladder or kidneys, says Herbert Lepor, MD, a urologist at NYU’s Langone.

Common Causes of Blood in the Urine

The presence of blood in the urine means that bleeding is occurring somewhere in the genito-urinary tract. In men, those organs include the kidneys, ureters, the prostate gland, the bladder, and the urethra.

The most common causes of hematuria are kidney and bladder stones. Another set of major causes includes trauma to the kidney, bladder, or other parts of the genito-urinary tract.

In addition, anything from “jogger’s hematuria” that occurs after exercise, kidney disease, sexually transmitted diseases, benign prostate hypertrophy, infection of the urinary tract, tumors, and blockages, as well as some medications can cause a bleed.

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