If you routinely check your body, and mark yourself as “adorable,” you’re more likely to notice healthy changes.
Here are 15 symptoms that women often ignore:
Abnormal periods or pelvic pain. Abnormal periods are not uncommon. Your menstrual cycle can be affected by many factors such as pregnancy, menopause, obesity, thyroid disease, endometriosis, benign ovarian cysts or even stress. However, when you start to experience major and sudden changes in your cycle, it’s time to see a doctor. Changes such as having noticeably heavier periods month after month should be considered. Pelvic pain and irregular bleeding can be a sign of cervical, ovarian, or other gynecologic cancers.
Bloating Bloating after a heavy meal or during your period? that’s normal. Bloating every day for no known reason? Not much. Bloating or a persistent feeling of constipation may be a sign of ovarian or uterine cancer. Rich Winder, MD, chief cancer officer for the American Cancer Society, says, “If it’s been a few weeks and you’re not getting better, that’s a change…it’s not you. Ask your doctor to take a closer look.” If you’re popping Gas X every day, it’s time to see a doctor.
Blood in the stool Seeing blood in the stool can be frightening. However, many people are quick to blame it on hemorrhoids or constipation. While hemorrhoids are extremely common (about 75 percent of the population will develop them at some point in their lives), blood in the stool should never be passed without seeking medical attention. Blood in a bowel movement is never normal and should always be checked. Blood in the stool can indicate serious problems such as colon cancer, which is becoming increasingly common in people under the age of 50.
Breast dimples, discoloration, or other changes. Women are well aware that lumps and bumps in the breast can be a sign of breast cancer. However, clicking monster is a lesser-known offering that should be taken seriously. Other symptoms of breast cancer include swelling, pain, skin discoloration, and even nipple inversion. It is important to remember that if you have these symptoms, it does not mean that you definitely have cancer. However, it is important not to overlook these symptoms just because they do not seem important. It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your health.
Chronic cough. Is it the common cold, allergies, the flu, or something else? Everyone gets sick from time to time. But if you develop a cough that lasts two weeks or longer and you don’t have any other typical cold symptoms, it could be a sign of lung cancer or leukemia. Coughing up blood is also a red flag that something needs immediate attention.
Chronic headache. If you don’t have a history of migraines and usually don’t get headaches, the sudden onset of chronic headaches could indicate something is wrong. If you have already been diagnosed with migraine and your treatment is working, there is likely no cause for concern. However, if you have never had a problem with headaches before and suddenly find yourself hopelessly in a dark, quiet room, this healthy change should be discussed with your doctor.
Difficulty swallowing. Difficulty swallowing can be caused by a simple sore throat, but if it persists it may be a sign of throat, stomach or lung cancer. Always use the two-week rule – if it lasts more than two weeks, it’s time to see a doctor. Even if the difficulty is due to a noncancerous infection, early detection will help you diagnose it and start treatment so that you feel better sooner.
Excessive bruising If you’re clumsy, it’s probably not surprising, or worrying, if you find a few random bruises here or there. But if you start noticing bruises all the time, especially in strange places like your hands or fingers, it could be something serious. Excessive bruising can be a sign of anemia, or more seriously, leukemia.
Frequent fever or infection. Do you find yourself taking large amounts of pain relievers or antipyretics? Besides potentially causing some serious damage to your liver, you are not helping your body by treating something without first identifying the cause. Fever and frequent infections can be an early sign of leukemia or lymphoma, which weakens your immune system and makes you more susceptible to disease. If one random illness after another begins to pop up, talk about your concerns with a doctor.
Noticeable changes in the skin. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States. By performing routine self-examinations and reporting any changes to your doctor, you can detect cancer early and save your life.
Constant fatigue. You should see a doctor if you feel very tired every day, even after a good night’s sleep, for more than two weeks. The tenth