“Cancer” is a powerful word that evokes strong emotions in people. It is a word associated with a lot of fear, for obvious reasons. It can also take on almost any type of sign or symptom. According to the Cancer Treatments Centers of America, recognizing these indicators can lead to an earlier diagnosis, allowing for a much better prognosis.
Do you know the signs and symptoms of cancer? They can be vague, mimicking those experienced with various benign health conditions, but when you ignore physical ailments that could possibly represent the disease, cancer can be particularly devastating and deadly.
Look out for the following early cancer signs and symptoms…
Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
Women who have endometrial cancer and cervical cancer – both in the early and late stages – commonly experience irregular vaginal bleeding, so this is a symptom that should never just be brushed off.
If you have already undergone menopause, any bleeding or spotting should be evaluated by doctor as soon as possible. If you haven’t yet experienced menopause (aka “the change”), then consult a medical professional if you experience heavier-than-normal periods, bleeding between periods, or bleeding during or after sexual intercourse.
Non-bloody discharge can also be a sign of uterine or endometrial cancer. Though only a small number of cases of uterine cancer have been discovered in women with discharge that wasn’t bloody, there is still a slim chance that it could be something more serious. Bottom line, anything abnormal down there needs to be checked by a doctor.
To diagnose endometrial and cervical cancers, physicians will typically review a patient’s symptoms, as well as their medical and family history. They will also perform a pelvic exam. Other tests may include a transvaginal ultrasound (TVU), blood tests, a pap test, a colposcopy, a hysteroscopy, and imaging tests, such as X-ray, CT, or MRI scans.
Be sure to prepare before visiting your doctor by writing down the exact symptoms you are experiencing, making a list of all medications and supplements that you are taking, and writing down questions to ask the doctor. If you are diagnosed with cancer, find out what type/stage of cancer you have, if it has spread, and what the best treatment is.