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8 Cancer Symptoms Women Often Ignore

Aug 07, 2018 | 2 years ago | Read Time: 3 minutes | By iKnowledge Team

The dreaded ‘C’ word. It is awful. And, with it drags along its forbidding cousins– panic and misgivings. Although, most forms of cancer are treatable and curable, when detected and treated in its early stages, the word cancer can cause phobia among people. Especially, among women. While juggling multiple responsibilities, women tend to overlook their own health. And, in due course, it often goes undetected until it is late many cancer signs resemble symptoms of other common diseases, which is why women tend to neglect and dismiss them as trivial. Nevertheless, these symptoms could be red flags and a way of your body telling you it needs attention. There is a high chance they could be nothing to worry about, but the point of having them checked is to rule out any complications. .

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you must seek medical help immediately:

1. Abnormal periods/ pelvic pain

Abnormal periods are quite common. But, if you notice any significant changes in your periods, it’s important you consult a doctor. For instance, if your periods are becoming heavier or more painful month after month or if you experience bleeding between your cycles, it could be a cause for concern. Pelvic pain or irregular periods could signal ovarian, cervical or endometrial abnormalities, and these must be examined. Post-menopausal bleeding is also a cause for concern, which is why you must consult your gynaecologist if you notice this sign.

2. Changes in breast appearance

Make it a point to periodically examine yourself for any irregularities in your breasts. Although most lumps can be benign, you should check any noticeable lumps or growth by a doctor. Also, look for other changes, such as inverted nipples, nipple discharge or dimpled skin in and around the breasts. These warrant immediate medical attention. Most doctors recommend a biopsy or a mammogram to rule out breast cancer.

3. Vaginal discharge

Vaginal discharge is a normal and routine occurrence. But changes or variations in its appearance could signal an infection. A foul smelling odour, itchiness or cloudy discharge could indicate a bacterial or fungal infection that is treatable with appropriate medication. However, if blood accompanies a discharge, it, could indicate the tail end of a period, an early sign of miscarriage (if pregnant) or advanced cervical cancer.. Cervical cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among women. Hence, if you experience vaginal discharge of an abnormal nature, report it to your gynaecologist as soon as possible. To rule out cervical abnormalities, go for a routine pelvic exam and Pap smear.

4. Changes in skin

If you notice, suspicious new moles or abnormal skin changes do not ignore them. Get these examined by a dermatologist to rule out skin cancer. Certain changes in moles warrant your immediate attention. These include:

Asymmetrical: One half looks different from the other

 Border: Uneven edges, blurry or sketchy

 Colour: Inconsistent and varied

 Diameter: Bigger than 6mm

 Evolution: Changes over time

5. Bloating

Bloating during periods indicates water retention or after a meal is normal, but being bloated persistently, is something to watch out. If you feel bloated or constipated regularly, do not pop antacids or dismiss the symptoms.. Get a doctor to examine you thoroughly and take the necessary tests to rule out ovarian or uterine cancer.

6. Blood in stool or urine

Spotting blood in stools is sometimes associated with ailments like haemorrhoids or constipation. Nevertheless, do not take blood in stools or urine lightly. Seek medical attention as it could indicate colon, kidneys or bladder abnormalities.

7. Unexplained weight loss

Losing weight effortlessly is a dream-come-true for most, especially women. However, unexplained weight loss could be a worrying condition. It could be a symptom of an underlying thyroid condition or stress disorder. If you cannot put a finger on the reason behind your weight loss, consult a physician. In some cases, coupled with other symptoms, unexplained weight loss could signal pancreatic, colon or stomach cancer.

8. Difficulty in swallowing

Sometimes when you have difficulty swallowing food or drinks because of a sore throat, it is usually nothing to worry. However, if you have trouble swallowing,  accompanied by vomiting and unexplained weight loss for more than two weeks, you must visit a doctor to dismiss throat or stomach malignancy.


The most significant inference from these eight indications is that if you experience any persistent health change for more than a fortnight, it is time to seek medical help. Most cancer signals imitate characteristics of other disorders, so we tend to brush them aside. A timely visit to the doctor could save your life. Remember, your best chance of detecting and surviving cancer is you. Buy a health insurance plan or a cancer plan today and cover your medical expenses.

Advt. no.: II/Jul 2018/4281

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