While routine tests are important, it is just as important to listen to your body and notice anything that’s different, odd, or unexplainable.
Signs Of Cancer
1. Wheezing or shortness of breath
One of the first signs many lung cancer patients remember noticing is the inability to catch their breath.
2. Chronic cough or chest pain
Several types of cancer, including leukemia and lung tumors, can cause symptoms that mimic a bad cough or bronchitis. Some lung cancer patients report chest pain that extends up into the shoulder or down the arm.
3. Frequent fevers or infections
These can be signs of leukemia, a cancer of the blood cells that starts in the bone marrow. Leukemia causes the marrow to produce abnormal white blood cells, sapping your body’s infection-fighting capabilities.
4. Difficulty swallowing
Trouble swallowing is most commonly associated with esophageal or throat cancer, and is sometimes one of the first signs of lung cancer, too.
5. Swollen lymph nodes or lumps on the neck, underarm, or groin
Enlarged lymph nodes indicate changes in the lymphatic system, which can be a sign of cancer.
6. Excessive bruising or bleeding that doesn’t stop
This symptom usually suggests something abnormal happening with the platelets and red blood cells, which can be a sign of leukemia. Over time, leukemia cells crowd out red blood cells and platelets, impairing your blood’s ability to carry oxygen and clot.
7. Weakness and fatigue
Generalized fatigue and weakness is a symptom of so many different kinds of cancer that you’ll need to look at it in combination with other symptoms. But any time you feel exhausted without explanation and it doesn’t respond to getting more sleep, talk to your doctor.
8. Bloating or abdominal weight gain
Women diagnosed with ovarian cancer overwhelmingly report unexplained abdominal bloating that came on fairly suddenly and continued on and off over a long period of time.
9. Feeling full and unable to eat
This is another tip-off to ovarian cancer; women say they have no appetite and can’t eat, even when they haven’t eaten for some time.
10. Pelvic or abdominal pain
Pain and cramping in the pelvis and abdomen can go hand in hand with the bloating that often signals ovarian cancer. Leukemia can also cause abdominal pain resulting from an enlarged spleen.
11. Rectal bleeding or blood in stool
This is a common result of diagnosing colorectal cancer. Blood in the toilet alone is reason to call your doctor and schedule a colonoscopy.
12. Unexplained weight loss
Weight loss is an early sign of colon and other digestive cancers; it’s also a sign of cancer that’s spread to the liver, affecting your appetite and the ability of your body to rid itself of wastes.
13. Upset stomach or stomachache
Stomach cramps or frequent upset stomachs may indicate colorectal cancer.
14. A red, sore, or swollen breast
These symptoms can indicate inflammatory breast cancer. Call your doctor about any unexplained changes to your breasts.
15. Nipple changes
One of the most common changes women remember noticing before being diagnosed with breast cancer is a nipple that began to appear flattened, inverted, or turned sideways.
16. Unusually heavy or painful periods or bleeding between periods
Many women report this as the tip-off to endometrial or uterine cancer. Ask for a transvaginal ultrasound if you suspect something more than routine heavy periods.
17. Swelling of facial features
Some patients with lung cancer report noticing puffiness, swelling, or redness in the face. Small cell lung tumors commonly block blood vessels in the chest, preventing blood from flowing freely from your head and face.
18. A sore or skin lump that doesn’t heal, becomes crusty, or bleeds easily
Familiarize yourself with the different types of skin cancer — melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma — and be vigilant about checking skin all over your body for odd-looking growths or spots.
19. Changes in nails
Unexplained changes to the fingernails can be a sign of several types of cancer. A brown or black streak or dot under the nail can indicate skin cancer, while newly discovered “clubbing”– enlargement of the ends of the fingers with nails that curve down over the tips — can be a sign of lung cancer. Pale or white nails can sometimes be a sign of liver cancer.
20. Pain in the back or lower right side
Many cancer patients say this was the first sign of liver cancer. Breast cancer is also often diagnosed via back pain, which can occur when a breast tumor presses backward into the chest, or when the cancer spreads to the spine or ribs.
Whether you are a man or a woman, it’s important to watch for any unusual changes in your body and energy levels in order to detect any signs of cancer early on. The sooner you notice there’s a problem, the sooner you can begin to take the steps necessary to promote healing within your body.
Of course, ideally, you should follow an anti-cancer lifestyle even before you notice any symptoms, as prevention is the best route when it comes to most chronic diseases. It is not unusual for 10 or more years to pass between exposure to a cancer-causing agent (tobacco, chemicals, radiation, poor nutrition, etc.) and detectable cancer.
Cancer Rates Continue to Rise in 2009
Nearly 1.5 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in the United States in 2009, not including the over 1 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancers that are also expected to be diagnosed this year, according to American Cancer Society data. (1)
In all, more than 1,500 people will die from cancer each day, accounting for nearly one out of every four U.S. deaths.
The latest estimates show that by 2030, over 26 million people a year may be diagnosed with cancer, with 17 million people dying from it. (1)
Many of these cancer cases and deaths can be prevented, however.
Even the American Cancer Society states that about one-third of the more than 562,000 cancer deaths expected to occur in 2009 will be related to overweight or obesity, physical inactivity and poor nutrition. Another 169,000 will be caused by tobacco use. (1)
There is another widely overlooked cause of cancer deaths, one that could easily be changed as well, and that is a lack of vitamin D from sun exposure.
9 Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer Now
Living an anti-cancer lifestyle now will help your body to stay healthy and in balance, and avoid developing cancer in the first place. Here are the top tips I recommend to start living your healthier lifestyle now:
1. Normalize your vitamin D levels by getting plenty of sunlight exposure and consider careful supplementation when this is not possible. If you take oral vitamin D and have cancer, it would be very prudent to monitor your vitamin D blood levels regularly. (2, 3)
2. Reduce or eliminate your processed food and sugar intake. Research has found that a diet high in processed food (especially processed meats) can raise the risk of colorectal cancer, while a high-sugar diet is associated with a higher risk of pancreatic cancer. (4,5)
3. Normalize your ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats by taking a high-quality animal-based omega-3 fat like krill oil and reducing your intake of most processed vegetable oils. Keeping an eye on your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio can also help prevent other diseases like cardiovascular disease and autoimmune disease, according to research. (6)
5. Get regular, good sleep. Valuing your body’s downtime can help you manage daily stress much more effectively, which in turn can help lower your cancer risk (although scientists have not yet come to an agreement about the nature of this connection). (8)
6. Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides, household chemical cleaners, synthetic air fresheners and air pollution.
7. Avoid frying or charbroiling your food. Boil, poach or steam your foods instead. (9)
8. Have a tool to permanently reprogram the neurological short-circuiting that can activate cancer genes. It is likely that this factor may be more important than all the other physical ones listed here, so make sure this is addressed. One of the best approaches and my particular favorite tool is the Meridian Tapping Technique.
9. Eat at least one-third of your food raw. Personally, my goal is 85% raw and I am usually able to achieve that.
You won’t read or hear much about these cancer-preventive techniques elsewhere because they have not been formally “proven” by conservative researchers. However, were you aware that 85 percent of therapies currently recommended by conventional medicine have never been formally proven either?
Now that’s something to think about.
With little effort on your part, these relatively simple risk reduction strategies can help you to virtually eliminate your cancer risk, and radically improve your chances of recovering from cancer if you currently have it. So go ahead and give them a try; you have nothing to lose and potentially everything, including your life, to gain.