17 Cancer Warning Signs: See Your Doctor Immediately If You Have Any Of These


Cancer is one of the scariest threats to your health. And it is frighteningly common as well. In fact, the National Cancer Institute reports that nearly 40% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that better cancer screening and cancer treatment techniques are being developed every day. And the earlier you start treating cancer, the better your odds will be.

Of course, detecting cancer doesn’t begin with a visit to the doctor. It begins with you noticing any telltale warning signs you may be exhibiting. And if you are experiencing any of the cancer warning signs below, make sure you go to your doctor right away!

Trouble swallowing

Everybody experiences the occasional trouble swallowing. But if you have difficulty swallowing food for two weeks or more, it may be a sign you have lung, stomach, or throat cancer.

Persistent headache

Most headaches are temporary and respond well to over-the-counter medicine. But if your headache has lasted for two weeks or more and medicine isn’t helping, this may be a sign of a brain tumor.

RELATED: 14 Surprising Signs Of Lung Cancer

Constant fevers or infections

It’s fine if you get the occasional fever or infection. But if your body keeps going from one to another, it may be a warning sign that you have lymphoma or leukemia wreaking havoc on your immune system.

Persistent cough

A persistent cough is never a good sign, especially in the age of COVID-19. But if your cough has lasted for two weeks or more, it may be a sign of lung cancer.

Unexplained weight loss

Everybody wishes they could suddenly start losing weight without trying, but if it actually happens, it’s never a good sign. In this case, unexplained weight loss or loss of appetite may be a warning sign that cancer is spreading throughout your body.

Changes to your breasts

Breast cancer mostly affects women but it can most certainly affect men as well. Warning signs include changes to the appearance of your breast. These changes may include unexpected discharges, discoloring, dimpling, the appearance of a lump, or any other unexplained change.

Feeling bloated

Don’t freak out: everyone feels bloated from time to time, but this feeling is meant to be temporary. But if you feel bloated for two weeks or more, it may mean that you have gastrointestinal cancer or ovarian cancer.

RELATED: 10 Surprising Signs Of Colon Cancer

Period pain or pelvic pain

It’s not uncommon to experience cramps and irregular periods. But if you experience major changes in your cycle or have very persistent pelvic pain, you may be suffering from cervical, ovarian, or uterine cancer.

Issues with going to the bathroom

It’s a bad warning sign if you’re having issues going to the bathroom. This may include frequent urination, blood in your urine, constipation, diarrhea, discolored stools, or blood in your stool. These may be signs you have certain types of cancer (such as bladder cancer, colon cancer, or prostate cancer).

Sores or lesions in your mouth

If you suddenly develop sores or lesions in your mouth, this could be a sign of oral cancer. Keep in mind that the risk of this is greater if you smoke or drink.

Intense bruising

By now, you know how easily your body bruises. If you suddenly find yourself bruising much more easily than before, and if you are getting bruises in areas that haven’t even bumped into anything, you may have blood cancer.

Constant fatigue

Look, we get it: you may constantly feel tired as your baseline energy level. But if your energy level suddenly changes for the worse and getting plenty of sleep doesn’t help, you may have leukemia or lymphoma.

RELATED: 17 Warning Signs Of Prostate Cancer

Irregular or changing moles

If you have a mole or birthmark, it’s important to monitor whether it seemingly moves or changes. Sometimes, this is a cancer warning sign. Remember this acronym to determine if you should be concerned: ABCDE.

“A” is for “asymmetry,” meaning that one half doesn’t look like the other.

“B” is for “border,” meaning the edges of your mole or birthmark appear to be blurry or irregular.

“C” is for “color,” meaning that the color is inconsistent (for example, it is two different shades).

“D” is for “diameter,” meaning that it is larger than a pencil eraser.

Finally, “E” is for “evolving,” meaning that it bleeds, grows, or experiences other changes over time. See a doctor if you have any of these signs.

Nausea or stomach pain

Again, everyone experiences stomach pain and nausea from time to time, but it is usually short-lived and easily treated. But if yours last for two weeks or more, you may have liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, or some type of digestive cancer.

Bleeding after menopause

There are many different issues that can cause postmenopausal bleeding. One of those issues, though, is that you have developed cervical or uterine cancer.

RELATED: 12 Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer

Unexplained lumps

Any sudden or unexplained lumps on your body should be treated as potential cancer warning signs. It’s fine if your lymph nodes simply flare up while you have a cold, but persistent swelling and persistent lumps mean you need to head to the doctor.

Lasting pain

We have outlined some very specific pains that you should look out for. But as a general rule, any unexplained pain that you can’t seem to treat may be a warning sign of cancer somewhere in your body.