Cancer is one of the most widespread diseases and has no borders. Every year, about 9.6 million people die from some form of it; and South Africa has the third-highest incidence on the continent. It doesn’t care about your income, education, gender, or preferences. It’s completely indiscriminate. And, because there are so many different types of cancers, and everybody experiences it in a unique way, it can be hard to pinpoint symptoms at the early stages of the disease.
In fact, in some cases, this disease doesn’t even present clear symptoms until it is quite advanced, which is why it is so important to have regular check-ups and to be aware of your body and any slight changes.
Common Symptoms of Cancer
- Unexplained and significant weight loss
- A persistent cough
- Passing mucus in your stools
- Changes in the appearance of your skin (including rippling, puckering, or any changes in a mole or beauty spot)
- Lumps or swelling (anywhere on the body)
- Pain that doesn’t go away
- Unexplained bleeding or bruising
- Changes in your bowel or bladder habits
Of course, experiencing these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean that you have cancer, but they are signs or clues that may be worth investigating.
But there are also some less common symptoms that might need to be pursued with your doctor to rule out cancer.
Unusual Signs that You Might Have Cancer
- Numb hands and feet – while this could be a result of a pinched nerve, extreme cold, or diabetes, numb extremities might also be a sign that there’s a tumour on the spine or in the brain.
- Bloating – there’s a wide variety of reasons the belly may become bloated (including bowel diseases or syndromes, hormonal changes, and infection). But colon, stomach and pancreatic cancers can also be the culprit.
- Night sweats – if you’re experiencing consistent night sweats, it could indicate some form of this disease; but it could also be a sign of thyroid issues or menopause, or as a side effect of certain medications (including anti-depressants).
- Puffy face – sometimes, cancers of the thyroid, breast, lung, or kidneys can cause the face to swell, due to tumours restricting the flow of blood and lymph. Other causes of face puffiness include excess salt intake or hormonal imbalances.
- Changes in vision – tumours on the nerves of the brain and eye can affect the vision quickly and dramatically.
- Pain under the ribs – cancer of the liver or bone can cause pain under or in the ribs. So can training/workouts and gas. So, keep an eye on pain and visit the doctor if it continues.
- Swollen glands – you know the feeling of swollen lymph nodes when you have a cold or flu? Sometimes, the same can happen with cancer, as the lymph system works hard to fight the disease. If they continue and you don’t have another obvious infection, check these nodes out.
- Incontinence – there are various reasons for incontinence (including old age and pregnancy), and cancer of the bladder, uterus, or prostate gland is one of them.
- Trouble swallowing – this is significant because it could indicate cancer of the throat or oesophagus, both of which often get diagnosed too late. So, this symptom is worth getting checked out in good time.
- Tiny bruise spots – also known as petechiae, these little bruises are the size of a pin-prick and can be an indication of leukaemia or lymphoma. They are sometimes mistaken for a rash.
- Seizures or fits – certain brain cancers can cause seizures, both big and small.
- Pain in the bones – an ongoing pain needs to be investigated, regardless of where it is. Bone pain can indicate bone cancer.
- Anaemia – although anaemia can be caused by a variety of things, certain cancers may also be responsible. These include leukaemia or lymphoma; or bone, stomach, or colon cancer.
- Blood in stool or urine – this may be caused by cancer in the uterus or bowel.
- Heartburn that sticks around – heartburn or acid reflux is relatively common but can occasionally be a sign of cancer of the throat, stomach or even ovaries.
- Changing fingernails – look out for lines or dots under your fingernails, paling of the colour, or clubbing (unusual curving) of nails. These may indicate various types of cancers (including lung, skin, or liver).
Don’t Stress, Just Be Aware
It’s important not to worry about symptoms until you have a formal diagnosis. What’s important is that you get to know your body and your natural rhythms so that, if something changes or arises, you can get professional medical advice in good time.
There are many things that we can do to prevent or fight cancer, although it’s impossible to completely control, of course. These include cutting sugar, getting enough exercise and rest, dealing with anxiety before it becomes overwhelming, and quitting smoking. In addition, Nordens Ultimate has a range of fantastic supplements that boost your immune system, reduce inflammation, and strengthen your resources.
Visit our online shop to order now!