What Are Some Early Warning Signs of Cancer?

Changes in bladder or bowel habits, unusual bleeding or discharge, coughing that doesn’t stop, and sores that don’t heal are some of the early warning signs of cancer, explains WebMD. Patients experiencing these symptoms longer than two weeks independent of another diagnosed condition should consult a doctor.

These early cancer signs are easy to overlook because they’re not always indicative of cancer, notes Healthline. Trouble eating, abdominal bloating and abdominal pain may suggest ovarian cancer. However, a woman experiencing these symptoms may find relief with over-the-counter treatments. Seeing a doctor is important with these types of early warning signs when the symptoms do not improve.

Changes in bowel and bladder habits may accompany indigestion and difficulty swallowing, according to WebMD. Difficulty swallowing may occur on its own, or it accompany coughing or hoarseness that doesn’t respond to treatment. Other early warning signs may be more pronounced and alarming, such as areas of thickness or lumps developing in the breasts or testicles. Changes in the size and shape of mouth sores, warts and moles are also possible.

Additionally, persistent headaches, unexplained weight loss and persistent fatigue may signal cancer, as WebMD warns. Some cancer patients experience low-grade fevers during the onset of the illness, and these may be constant or intermittent. The best course of action for patients experiencing these early symptoms is to visit a doctor to discuss cancer screening.