Before you consider this persistent cough as another part of the flu season, ask your doctor for a second look. According to a new study by Cancer Research UK, more than half of adults were afraid of ringing the alarm, but only two percent thought that cancer could be a possible cause.
The researchers at cancer research institute sent questionnaires to nearly 5,000 UK residents registered with general practitioners, that is, men and women who have and consult a primary care physician. Just under 1,800 people completed the survey and five of them were eliminated because they said they had already been diagnosed with cancer.
Participants in the cancer research institute were asked if, over the last three months, they had presented a host of different symptoms (some of which could be possible signs of cancer) ranging from persistent cough to unexplained weight loss to loss of energy. If they had experienced any of these symptoms, they were asked to indicate what they thought was the cause and if it was serious.
“We do not know why, but there seems to be a mismatch between what people know in practice and whether they apply this knowledge to themselves,” said co-author of the study, Katrina Whitaker, Ph.D., a senior researcher at the cancer research institute university. College London. “So, while many of these signs and symptoms are known, very few people mention cancer as a possible cause, whereas they are the ones who feel the symptom.”
Here we examine the 10 symptoms that researchers must consider as warning signs. The researchers say that even if they are nothing, it’s about recognizing that they could also be cancer and asking your doctor to check your symptoms.
1. Persistent cough or hoarseness
While a cough here and there is nothing to worry about, a persistent cacophony or cough with blood is undoubtedly a cause for concern. “Most coughs are not cancers,” said Therese Bartholomew Bevers, MD, professor of clinical cancer prevention and medical director of the MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Cancer Prevention Center. “But you definitely have to evaluate a persistent cough to see if it could be lung cancer.” Your doctor should recommend a chest x-ray or CT scan to rule out the risk of cancer.
2. A persistent change in bowel habits
If your stools are not as easy as before or if your stools look wider than normal or slightly distorted, this could be a sign of colon cancer, says Bartholomew Bevers. “It could be a sign of a mass hindering bowel transit,” she says. “It’s a symptom where a person should see a doctor and plan a colonoscopy to see if there is indeed a mass.”
3. A persistent change in bladder habits
“If there is blood in the urine, it could indicate cancer of the bladder or kidney – but it is usually a sign of urinary tract infection,” says Bartholomew Bevers. Start by looking for an infection and then continue with other treatment options.
4. Persistent unexplained pain
“Most pain is not a sign of cancer, but persistent pain needs to be checked,” says Bartholomew Bevers. “If you have persistent headaches, for example, you probably do not have brain cancer – but it’s still a problem to look at.” Persistent chest pain could be a sign of breast cancer. lung and the pain in your abdomen could be ovarian cancer. ”
5. Change in the appearance of a mole
Although not all moles are a symptom of melanoma, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist to screen for skin cancer, to spot a new brand or brand that has changed, says Bartholomew Bevers.
6. A wound that does not heal
If you have a wound that lasts more than three weeks, you should talk to your doctor. “We would have expected our body to heal itself now,” says Bartholomew Bevers, “and you should definitely check that.” This type of wound could be a sign of carcinoma.
7. Unexpected bleeding
Vaginal bleeding – outside of your normal cycle – could be an early sign of cervical cancer, while bleeding from the rectum could indicate colon cancer, says Bartholomew Bevers.
8. Unexplained weight loss
“As adults, we try very hard to lose weight,” says Bartholomew Bevers. “But if your weight falls without any effort on your part, it’s a major concern that can indicate a serious medical problem.” One of these problems, she says, could be a malignant tumor or a tumor.
9. An unexplained piece
“Whenever you have a new mass or a changing mass, you should definitely consider this from your doctor,” says Bartholomew Bevers. Although it may be a benign (and probably) cyst, it could also be a “cancer in the underground tissue.” Breast size is, of course, a very common symptom of breast cancer. within. ” Consult your doctor for more information.
10. persistent difficulty in swallowing
Two symptoms may be at the origin of this symptom, in particular cancers of the neck and the esophagus. “People who see these symptoms will often start modifying their diet, eating softer foods without suspecting that there might be a bigger problem.”
“In the end,” says Whitaker, “if people have persistent symptoms, they should consult their doctor for advice.”