14 Ignored Cancer Symptoms Doctors Want You to Pay Attention To

Cancer is a devastating disease that affects millions of people worldwide. It occurs when cells in the body start to grow uncontrollably, forming a mass or tumor. Some people ignore the early warning signs of cancer, reducing their chances for successful treatment. Don’t be one of these people. We’ve compiled some of the early warning signs medical professionals say you should know and act on.

Unexplained Weight Loss

Losing a significant amount of weight without changing your diet or exercise habits could be a sign of cancer. This is a noticeable symptom of the esophagus, pancreas, stomach, and lung cancers.


A fever can be a symptom of cancer, particularly in the case of lymphoma or blood cancers. If you have a persistent fever without any explanation, it is best to get checked out by a physician.


Persistent pain can also be a symptom of cancer, particularly bone cancer, breast cancer, and testicular cancer. You should consult with your doctor if you experience unexplained pain that doesn’t go away with over-the-counter painkillers.

Changes in Skin

Changes in your skin can also be a warning sign of cancer. For example, a mole, freckle, or bump on your skin that changes size, shape, or color could be a sign of skin cancer.


While indigestion is usually not a cause for concern, it could be a sign of stomach or esophageal cancer, mainly if it is persistent. Don’t brush it off; seek medical advice if it doesn’t go away.

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Changes in Bathroom Habits

Any changes in bowel or urine habits, such as constipation, diarrhea, bloody stool, or pain while urinating, should be reported to your doctor immediately. These symptoms may indicate the presence of prostate, colon, or bladder cancer.

Persistent Cough

A persistent (dry) cough, which produces blood, could be a sign of lung cancer. If it lasts more than a few days, you must have it checked out by a healthcare provider.

Difficulty Swallowing

If you have trouble swallowing and it is persistent, it could be a sign of cancer of the esophagus, throat, or stomach. Make an appointment with your doctor if you have difficulty swallowing or feel like food is getting stuck in your throat.

Changes in Breast Tissue

For women, any changes in breast tissue, such as a lump, swelling, or discharge, should be investigated. These can be signs of breast cancer, and seeing a healthcare provider as soon as possible is crucial.

Abdominal Pain and Bloating

If you experience persistent abdominal pain and bloating could be a sign of ovarian or other gastrointestinal cancers.

Changes in the Menstrual Cycle

Changes in your menstrual cycle, such as heavier or longer periods, could indicate uterine or cervical cancer.

Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing is a symptom of several types of cancer, including lung, ovarian, and leukemia.

Night Sweats

If you experience night sweats regularly, it could be a sign of lymphoma or leukemia.


While headaches are a common ailment, consult your doctor if they are persistent and accompanied by other symptoms, such as seizures or vision changes.

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