Everywhere I go lately, I see people rocking pink t-shirts, or yellow wristbands, or cool buttons designed to raise cancer awareness.
And while that’s totally cool, it doesn’t do much good to raise awareness if you don’t also help educate people about the warning signs of cancer.
To help with education, the ACS (American Cancer Society) has put out an easy way to recognize the seven signs of cancer. These signs aren’t a cancer diagnosis, but warning signs that you may want to get checked out with a healthcare professional to see if you have the condition.
C - Changes in bathroom habits. This can be anything from changes in the bowel movements (watery or too hard) to frequency (going more often or infrequently). Any long term changes in bathroom habits should be told to your doctor.
A – A sore that does not heal. This can also be a sign of diabetes, but sores that do not heal within a usual amount of time need to be checked.
U – Unusual discharge and bleeding. Moles and freckles should not bleed or drain. Other unusual draining issues should be checked out as well.
T – Thickness or lumps in the breast or other places. Breast lumps can be cysts that are normal in the course of your menstrual cycle, or they can be the beginnings of breast tumors. If you notice a lump, have a mammogram to see if there is something there other than fluid.
I – Indigestion and difficulty in swallowing. Indigestion can come from many things, even very frequent indigestion can be a sign of acid reflux or other normal conditions. However, it can also be a sign of some cancers.
O - Obvious changes in moles or warts. Warts and moles shouldn’t change shapes or colors or thickness. Any of these changes can signal a chance of skin cancer.
N - Nagging cough and hoarseness. This can go along with the difficulty in swallowing. It can also be a sign of lung and other cancers.
Share this list with the people you care about, early detection is the best way to survive cancer.