10 Unexpected Cancer Symptoms Every Woman Should Know!

10 Unexpected Cancer Symptoms Every Woman Should Know!


10 Unexpected Cancer Symptoms Every Woman
Should Know! If you were to find a lump in your breast,
you’d have it looked at, wouldn’t you? Well, odd or unfamiliar symptoms like swelling
in your neck, skin sores that won’t heal, or unrelenting pain deserve the same sort
of vigilance. There’s no need to leap to hair-raising
conclusions, What if it’s cancer? when it could easily be something else. But the sooner you get diagnosed, the quicker
you and your doctor can take appropriate action. “With all cancers, early diagnosis is key,”
explains Stephen Rubin, MD, chief of the division of gynecologic oncology at Fox Chase Cancer
Center in Philadelphia, “so women ought to feel free to see their physician to have
these things checked out. 1. Scaly patches or warty lumps. What is that red, scaly patch of skin? If it’s on a sun-exposed area of your body
and it’s still there eight weeks later, don’t assume it’s eczema, Dr. Glashofer
cautions. It could be a sign of squamous cell carcinoma. This type of skin cancer sometimes has a “warty-looking”
or “dome-shaped” appearance, he says. It commonly shows up on the head, neck, and
back of the hands. Women tend to find it on the front of their
legs from years and years of sun exposure, he says. 2. A pearly pimple. Heads up, tanners. The most commonly diagnosed cancer in the
U.S. is actually skin cancer, specifically a type called basal cell carcinoma, which
is linked to ultraviolet light exposure. Marc Glashofer, MD, a board-certified, private-practice
dermatologist specializing in skin cancer in Northern New Jersey, says basal cell carcinomas
sometimes have a pearly translucent or waxy appearance. Other times these cancers look like sores,
scaly patches, or cyst-like bumps. “A lot of times people come in and say,
‘Hey, I’ve got this pimple on my cheek or my nose; it’s not going away.’” Usually, these cancers are slow-growing and
highly treatable, Dr. Glashofer says, adding that any bump persisting for six to eight
weeks ought to be checked out. 3. Foreign body sensation. An annoying lump-in-the-throat feeling often
goes hand-in-hand with acid reflux. But sometimes that awkward sensation is telling
you a tumor is present. “It’s almost like, OK, did I swallow a
chicken bone? Is there a hair back there?” says Bruce
Davidson, MD, professor, and chairman of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at Georgetown University
Medical Center in Washington, D.C. One patient bothered by this symptom saw multiple
doctors over five years before seeing Dr. Davidson, who found a tiny back-of-the-tongue
cancer using a scoping procedure. Dr. Davidson says base-of-tongue and tonsil
tumors are on the rise due to human papillomavirus infections, which are often acquired through
oral sex. HPV can lay dormant in the body for years
before producing symptoms, he adds, so people may not know they’re even at risk of oral
head-and-neck cancer. 4. A hoarse voice. Some people temporarily lose their voice when
they catch a bad cold. Hoarseness that persists is a different matter
and should be evaluated promptly. Laryngeal cancer attacks tissues in the part
of the throat that houses your vocal cords. This type of cancer might also cause throat
pain, ear pain, or a lump in the neck or throat. According to the National Cancer Institute
(NCI), cancer of the larynx can also spread to the thyroid, trachea (windpipe), or esophagus. 5. Ear pain. What does it mean when one ear constantly
aches, but there’s no sign of infection? It may not be an ear problem at all. It might be “referred otalgia,” meaning
pain that travels to the ear from nerves in the head or neck. Lots of conditions can trigger this sort of
ear discomfort. One of them is oral cancer. Early cancer on the back of the tongue or
tonsil might have pretty subtle symptoms,” explains Dr. Davidson. Someone can have ear pain without other symptoms
for weeks or months before the oral cancer is uncovered, he says. It could also be a sign of later-stage mouth
cancer that’s “burrowing down and starting to interfere with those nerves. 6. Anemia. Blood in your stool (if it’s not caused
by hemorrhoid) is a classic sign of colorectal cancer, the third most commonly diagnosed
cancer in the U.S. But according to the American Cancer Society
(ACS), anemia, which can make you feel tired, lightheaded, and dizzy, can sometimes be the
first sign of this cancer. The reason? Colorectal cancers can bleed into the digestive
tract, the ACS says. While you may not always detect rectal bleeding–“It
tends to be microscopic bleeding,” Dr. Moskowitz explains–blood loss over time can lead to
low red blood cell counts. 7. A lump in your neck. Not all lumps are cancer. You could have swollen lymph nodes due to
a recent infection or a slow-growing cyst in your neck. Likewise, a nodule or swelling in the center
of your neck where your thyroid is located is most likely benign but should be checked
for cancer. Women are three times more likely to develop
thyroid cancer than men. The good news: It’s usually slow-growing
and highly curable. 8. Bone pain. Bone pain may be the result of an injury,
infection, or osteoporosis. Or, it can be a sign of cancer. Unexplained bone pain, especially in the spine,
pelvis, and ribs, maybe a symptom of multiple myeloma. This type of cancer affects plasma cells found
in the bone marrow. It’s more common in older adults and African
Americans. Bone or joint pain in people who have symptoms
such as fever, fatigue, or weight loss can be a sign of leukemia, a type of blood and
bone marrow cancer. 9. Breast swelling or dimpling. It should go without saying that any unusual
breast changes (not just lumps!) require immediate attention. Breast pain, redness, and swelling are typical
signs of mastitis, a common breast infection, particularly in breastfeeding moms. But did you know that inflammatory breast
cancer can cause the same symptoms? Women who develop this aggressive type of
cancer may have thickening of the skin of the breast and dimpling, making the breast
look like the peel of an orange. 10. Belly bloat
Occasional abdominal pain or bloating is a common complaint not specific to cancer. You might have a GI problem, like irritable
bowel syndrome. In rare cases, though, bloating and pelvic
discomfort are signs of ovarian cancer. Only 1.3% of women in the U.S. will be diagnosed
with ovarian cancer during their lifetime, according to the NCI. However, the ACS says ovarian cancer is the
fifth-leading cause of cancer deaths in women (not counting non-melanoma skin cancers).

One thought on “10 Unexpected Cancer Symptoms Every Woman Should Know!

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