Cancer is a deadly disease that’s caused by specific cells in the body reproducing uncontrollably, according to the NHS. These cancerous cells can destroy the healthy tissue surrounding them – including vital organs. More than a third of all people will develop cancer at some point in their lifetime. You could be at risk of cancer if you have any of these common warning signs that you may be ignoring. Are you at risk?
Any type of unusual bleeding could be a sign of both early or advanced cancer, said the American Cancer Society.
Finding blood in your stool is an early bowel cancer symptom, while coughing up blood could be caused by lung cancer.
Similarly, having blood specks in your urine may be caused by bladder cancer, it said.
“Blood in the stool [which can look like very dark or black stool] could be a sign of colon or rectal cancer,” it said.
“Cancer of the cervix or the endometrium [lining of the uterus] can cause abnormal vaginal bleeding. Blood in the urine may be a sign of bladder or kidney cancer.
“A bloody discharge from the nipple may be a sign of breast cancer.”
Persistent indigestion, or trouble swallowing, is a common symptom of oesophageal cancer. The oesophagus is the tube that links the mouth to the stomach.
It could also be caused by stomach or throat cancer. But, digestive troubles are more likely to be caused by something less serious, said the charity.
While it may seem normal to have cough in the winter flu season, having a persistent cough should be seen by a doctor.
A cough that doesn’t go away could be a sign of lung cancer, while hoarseness could indicate cancer of the larynx.
Sores that won’t heal
Having a sore that won’t heal may actually be a sign of skin cancer, said the American Cancer Society.
“Skin cancers may bleed and look like sores that don’t heal. A long-lasting sore in the mouth could be an oral cancer.
“This should be dealt with right away, especially in people who smoke, chew tobacco, or often drink alcohol.”
Change in bowel habit
Have your stools been looser than normal? Have you had to pass stools more often? It could be a sign of bowel cancer.
Long-term constipation, diarrhoea or even in the size of your stool should all be seen by a doctor.
The same applies to passing urine. A persistent change to your urine habits – such as pain while passing urine – could be caused by bladder or prostate cancer.