Cancer is an insidious disease that all too frequently quietly invades a body, stealthily inflicting deadly damage without causing pain or discomfort--until it may be too late.
Now researchers from Britain's Keele University have analyzed the results of 25 previous studies and pinpointed the top eight early signs of cancer, some of which many patients would consider unexplained symptoms that might not even trigger the need for a doctor's visit.
The top eight early signs of cancer:
1. Blood in the urine
3. Rectal blood
4. Coughing up blood
5. Breast lump or mass
6. Difficulty swallowing
7. Post-menopausal bleeding
8. Abnormal prostate test results
Still, if you have any of these symptoms, don't panic. Do make an appointment with your physician, but realize that each of these eight signs has only about a one in 20 chance of actually being cancer. However, paying attention to your body if you have any of these symptoms, could mean you'll catch the disease as early as possible and have the greatest chance of a successful recovery.
- For men under age 55, the only sign that reached the one-in-20 threshold was abnormal results from a rectal prostate examination.
- For women under age 55, the only sign that reached the one-in-20 threshold was a breast lump or mass.
- For men 55 and older, difficulty swallowing could be a sign of esophageal cancer.
- For men and women over age 60, blood in the urine is a particular concern.
Do note that there are more than 200 different types of cancer, which cause many different symptoms beyond these eight that are highlighted. If you notice an unusual or persistent change in your body, it's important to get it checked out. The earlier cancer is diagnosed, the greater the chance for a successful treatment.
--From the Editors at Netscape