The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be over 1.5 million new cancer cases in 2015. While this is a high number, medical experts across the board agree that early detection is crucial to successfully fighting the disease.
There are some symptoms one should never ignore, and paying attention to these changes in the body is such an important part of detecting serious medical issues like cancer. I know my own body best, so when I saw this list of common cancer symptoms that can help with early detection, I knew I’d be watching out for them.
Dr. Beth Y. Karlan of Cedars-Sinai’s Cancer Institute says that if you have symptoms that are “persistent and progressive, meaning you wake up every morning and feel something and it has you worried — even for two weeks in a row — it really is worth calling your physician and having it checked out.”
Like a lot of people, I incorrectly thought that breast cancer symptoms only affected women and I didn’t have to worry about them. I was also wrong in thinking that symptoms associated with colon cancer only affected men. But I was very surprised to see how many symptoms affected both men and women, just like in the case of a heart attack. I’m so glad I know what to look for now!
Scroll through to see which symptoms should be a red flag for women, men, or for both women and men. While these symptoms don’t always mean cancer is the problem, they are a sign that you should see a doctor right away.