The disease may have taken someone we love away from us too soon or perhaps you’ve been forced to fight it yourself, whatever the case may be there’s no doubting that cancer is more prevalent than ever before.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eating a balanced diet can do wonders for your health, but knowledge is also power and Dr Tony Bartone, vice president of the Australian Medical Association, is trying to educate people about what signs they should look out for when it comes to taking care of your health.

First off Dr Bartone is quick to point out that while some of these symptoms can indicate something more sinister is going on, in most cases it’s only when they present themselves for more than a couple of weeks in a row that people should arrange to see their doctor.

Dr Bartone says, “If it’s new and not explainable, and you have a family history of cancer, you should always follow through with a check up.”

So what are the ten most common ignored signs of cancer?

Weight loss: If you’re discovering that you’re losing weight and there is no explanation to it this could be an indicator that something more sinister is going on. ‘Unexplained weight loss always needs to be investigated and investigated thoroughly,’ Dr Bartone said.

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Change in skin colour: It’s important to monitor the shapes and colours of your freckles as any change in this department could indicate skin cancer. ‘It could be melanoma or other forms of malignant skin cancers,’ Dr Bartone says.

Blood in urine: This is a very uncommon symptom and it’s very much out of the ordinary. If you discover it’s happening to you, you need to see your doctor straight away.

A lump in the testicle or the breast: This is one which should be discussed with a doctor immediately. ANY abnormal lumps in these areas should never go unchecked.

Change in fingernails: This one took us by surprise, but according to Dr Bartone a change in the quality of your fingernails could be an indication of lung cancer. ‘Changing shape, buckling, thickening or breaking of the nails tends to be an issue.’

Heartburn: In this case the heartburn needs to be persistent and very often cancer is not top of list when a patient presents with this symptom. Dr Bartone says, “‘It’s so common, you tend to just treat it empirically unless there is something to give us a hint, like family history, weight loss or smoking.” However persistent heartburn could be a sign of oesophageal cancer.

Changes in bowel habits: According to Dr Bartone, “Large bowel cancer is very, very common. If you look across both groups of people, both male and female, it ranks top three in both.’ If you start experiencing changes in your bowel movements that can’t be explained then you should make an appointment to follow this up with your doctor.

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Fatigue: If fatigue lasts longer than a few weeks you should have a doctor investigate it further. ‘Depending on who you are, your age and other associated factors, risk factors and family history, cancer goes closer to the top than the bottom,’ Dr Bartone says.

Pain swallowing: A sign of oesophageal or throat cancer can be if you are experiencing pain when you swallow.Dr Bartone says this is rarely the first symptom but when combined with other signs it can be an indicator of something more serious.

Fever: A fever is most likely a sign of your body trying to fight off an infection, however if it persists you’re better off following this up with your doctor.

And remember, no matter how small or insignificant you think a symptom may be, it’s always better to be safe rather than sorry.

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Source Daily Mail

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