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11 Cancer Warning Signs Women Often Ignore

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Too often women dismiss subtle symptoms that can help diagnose and treat cancer at an early stage. Be aware of these commonly overlooked signs that warrant attention and perhaps medical advice.

Keep in mind that having any of these symptoms does not mean cancer is necessarily present. Other diseases or temporary illnesses can also cause some of these symptoms. Still, don’t be shy about discussing these particular concerns with your doctor when they appear. It could be nothing, but bringing it up could also save your life.

1. Nipple or breast changes on one side—Early signs of breast cancer can include any redness, swelling, discharges, dimples, lumps, puckerings or rough spots; also flattened, inverted or turned nipples.

2. Unusual bleeding/spotting or discharge from vagina, rectum on in urine—Symptoms could be accompanied by pain or unpleasant odors and includes unexpected, painful and unusually heavy periods, bleeding after intercourse or blood in the urine. Unusual bleeding can be a warning sign of cervical, uterine or colorectal cancers.

3. Change in bowel or bladder—Symptoms include continual constipation, diarrhea, or stomach aches; also more frequent urination or pain while urinating or while having a bowel movement. These symptoms can sometimes be related to colon, bladder or kidney cancers.

4. Sudden or recurrent bloating, abdominal/pelvic pain—Look for an on and off “my jeans don’t fit” syndrome that is not related to the menstrual cycle; also, pain or abdominal tenderness and feeling full or unable to eat. These subtle signs may indicate ovarian cancer—one of the more difficult cancers to catch in early stages.

5. Unexplained weakness, weight loss or gain that is not associated with changes in activity or diet can be symptoms of colon cancer or other digestive system cancers.

6. Persistent sore throat, cough or hoarseness that isn’t a cold—These symptoms could include chest pain or ear ache and may indicate early stage lung cancer, some leukemias or throat cancer.

Add a Comment5 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

This is just an article to raise awareness. not everyone realizes that that pain in their abdomen isn't completely normal. Not everyone visits their Doctor regularly to check up on mild to nonexistent symptoms than can occur with early cancer.

January 19, 2010 - 2:46pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I have had a pain on my right side in area of my liver for about 6 weeks now. Blood work is pretty close to normal tests show fluid around liver and liver is slightly enlarged. But they say can't figure out what is wrong. Some nausea, vomiting and acid reflux with it. Was hospitalized for 7 days still no answer. Get sharp pains in side. It's getting worse. Finally get to go to mayo clinic. Weight loss of 10 lbs in in middle of all this. Very tired. Still searching for answers.. not drinker or drug user.

August 2, 2017 - 1:01am
EmpowHER Guest

I think this article is just going to make women get extremely paranoid and force themselves to think that they have these symptoms and therefore a number of different cancers. That will cause stress and naturally weaken the immune system and therefore they will feel like they can relate even more to this list.
While negligence should be avoided, that should be taken up with your doctor, they worked hard to get their medical degree for a reason. Don't play Doctor Google people.

January 19, 2010 - 6:03am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Don't be a troll.....

January 19, 2010 - 2:47pm

The main factor in fighting breast cancer is an early diagnose. Negligence results to fatal death not only in breast cancers but to any diseases.
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October 28, 2009 - 10:18pm
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