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The 15 Most Common Cancer Symptoms Women Ignore

May 07, 2015 3 min read

Cancer is a very real and very scary thing. More often than not, it's easier to turn a blind eye on something that's going on with your body instead of facing it head on. It is so important to get checked regularly, no matter what your age. It could save your life. Below are some symptoms that warrant, at least, a visit to your docs:

Chronic cough, chest pain, wheezing, or shortness of breath

There are multiple types of cancer ( including lung tumors and leukemia) that can cause symptoms that are similar to a bad cough or bronchitis. In some cases, patients say the pain will extend up to their shoulder and even down the arm.

Breast changes

Not all breast lumps mean cancer, however, that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be investigated by a doctor. Other doc visit worthy changes may include: nipples that are suddenly inverted, nipple discharge, skin dimpling or puckering and scaliness or redness of the nipple or skin of the breast.

Swollen lymph nodes or lumps on the neck, underarms or groin

If you have swollen lymph nodes or difficulty swallowing solids and liquids that’s progressively getting worse, it may be a fungal infection or it can also be cancer of the lymph nodes or esophageal tract. You should see a doctor regardless.

Bloating, abdominal pain, change in bowel habits, rectal bleeding, and/or blood in stool or urine

One of the fun things about being a woman is you're a natural bloater (yay...) That being said, if it doesn’t go away in a week or two, it’s time to see your doctor - especially if it’s combined with bleeding or unplanned weight loss.

Skin changes

Go see your doctor STAT if a mole or two is changing shape/color/size.


There are many factors that go in to heartburn. Try changing your diet for a couple weeks and see if it goes away… No luck? See a doctor!

Weakness or fatigue

Are you chronically over tired? That isn’t healthy. Particularly if it’s combined with any of the other symptoms on this list.

Mouth changes

If you smoke, be on the lookout for white spots in your mouth or on your lips as both are a sign of oral cancer.

Heavy bleeding or bleeding between periods

Many people report this as the first indicator of uterine or endometrial cancer. Ask your family doctor for a transvaginal ultrasound.

Pain, particularly in the back.

We live active and stressful lifestyles which is why, more often than not, this can be overlooked. Ongoing pain can signal brain, bone, liver, breast, and many other cancers. Check with your doctor if any unexplained pains have lasted over a month.

Changes in the nails

Be on the lookout for color changes such as white or pale beds or a brown/black streak or dot under the nail.

Abdominal pain accompanied by depression

Although rare, this one is also often overlooked. Unexplained belly pain with depression can mean pancreatic cancer.  You should only be worried if your family has a history of the disease or you are a heavy drinker, then you should get in to a doctor straight away.

Frequent infections or fever

A high temperature that can't be explained and just doesn’t go away can mean leukemia or another blood cancer.


It isn’t something people talk about, but smelly or foul vaginal discharge can be a symptom of cervical cancer. It is not uncommon to contain blood. It’s best not to self-treat discharge changes with over-the-counter medications - just visit your doctor instead.

 Weight loss without trying

I know this sounds appealing but losing more than ten pounds without any changes in your eating or exercise habits can indicate a big problem. Do you follow us on Instagram? [caption id="attachment_101129" align="alignnone" width="100"]snapchat code @BodyRockTV[/caption]

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