Since the early days of the global pandemic caused by COVID-19, government agencies and medical experts have recommended avoiding unnecessary trips outside the home, even medical visits, to minimize chances of transmission or exposure.
On the face of things, that’s great advice. But taken too far, it could be hazardous to your long-term health if you delay seeking medical advice about early signs and symptoms of cancer.
Different cancers grow at different rates and present different with symptoms, but doctors agree that no matter the specific diagnosis, your prognosis is better if the cancer is discovered in an early stage.
So, if you notice any of these things in yourself or a loved one, it’s best to make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible, even as we’re practicing social distancing and limiting time in public.
Possible Cancer Symptoms Worth Having Checked:
- Changes in your breast tissue, including swelling; skin irritation or dimpling; pain in the breast or nipple; redness, scaliness or thickening of the nipple or breast skin, a nipple discharge other than breast milk
- A painless lump in your underarm, breast, groin
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding or discharge
- Loss of appetite
- Persistent bloating
- Feeling full too quickly
- New abdominal or back pain
- Pelvic pain or pressure
- Itching, burning, pain, or tenderness of the vulva, or changes in vulva color or skin, such as a rash, sores, or warts
- Frequent or urgent need to urinate
- Excessive bruising, bruises in strange places (toes, hands, fingers)
- Unexplained weight loss or gain (in the 10-plus pound range)
- Difficulty swallowing
- Sudden and frequent indigestion
- Changes in your nail beds
- Chronic cough (longer than a month)
- Changes shape, size or texture of your skin, moles or freckles
- Sudden increased hair growth
- Unexplained exhaustion (unrelated to activity and not fixed by sleep)
- Frequent upset stomach with cramps
- Persistent headache, especially with clumsiness and muscle weakness
- Sores the won’t heal
- White patches inside your mouth or on your tongue
The bottom line is that if you sense any major, persistent or progressive changes in how your body normally looks, functions or feels, reach out to your doctor. You know what’s normal for your body—and what’s not. Please remember to always advocate for your own health, no matter what’s going on in the world.
More than a thousand men and women diagnosed with cancer each year turn to our trusted team of cancer specialists. We encourage you to call us at 850-610-3743, ask us a question, or consult with us to get a second opinion, so you too can experience the difference.