5 Most Ignored Cancer Symptoms

Cancer is a condition, the mere mention of which fills fear in our hearts. It has the notorious distinction of not only taking lives away but also, causing pain to the people who suffer its wrath. The question is not what treatment could be available in the future; it is what one can do right now to discover cancer in its early stages to deal with it before it is too late. The important thing is not to be ignorant about its symptoms but be proactive and aware. It’s at the very onset that this disease is the easiest to treat. So, how does one find traces of the problem even before it is visible? The answer is simply to do routine and specific screening and tests much earlier than the symptoms start.

Cancers of colon, cervix, breast have screening programs which have by far reduced the severity and improved outcomes in several cases. Something many survivors will vouch for.

Unfortunately, a few types of cancer are discovered only when symptoms are advanced. Cancer occurs in many younger patients as they usually don’t get routine medicals tests done unless the symptoms are bothersome.

The 5 most ignored symptoms of cancer you must not overlook are as given here:

#1) Painful Swallowing

Stop Cancer


Oesophageal cancer or the cancer of gullet and throat cancer have a couple of symptoms that occur during the onset of the disease. Unless there is a high index of suspicion that an individual has, these cancers present very late and can be lethal.

The important symptoms not to ignore are a recurring sore throat and finding it painful and difficult to swallow solids and especially liquids.

#2) Weight Loss

weight loss

Weight loss, if unintentional should be a cause for concern. If weight loss happens at an increasing pace and there are no medical conditions like hyperthyroidism or diabetes that can be causing this, it is important to think of cancer in differential diagnosis. There are many types of cancer like oesophageal, lung, prostate, bowel, stomach, pancreatic, ovarian, uterine, breast cancer to name a few, that can cause weight loss.

If one does not have scales at home but starts to notice clothes or rings becoming loose without working towards any intentional method of weight loss then one must pay a visit to the doctor.

#3) Heartburn

Acid reflux

A regular problem with people is the frequent occurrence of heartburn. Whilst spicy food, alcohol, smoking, stress are common triggers, the worst case scenario for people having heartburn on a regular and recurring pattern is the onset of cancer of the oesophagus.  It would be advisable to get a thorough check up conducted when symptoms persist to get an all clear.

Most people do not give the symptom of heartburn much importance and self treat or medicate. This has the potential to be dangerous.

#4) Lumps

Breast cancer.

Lumps could appear anywhere in the body. Common areas of the body where lumps could be the symptom of cancer are the breast area for female and the testicles for males. Other soft tissues of the body could also have the development of lumps. Red skin, thickened skin, dimpling of skin like an orange peel or puckering of the skin over breast in place of lumps is a worrying feature which can be suggestive of cancer. With the discovery of any of these symptoms a quick and thorough check up from your doctor could be life saving.

Self examining on a weekly basis is essential to rule out any lumps that are worrying. It also helps to be aware when we notice something out of norm in our body.

#5) Fatigue


Most of us lead a fast paced and stress laden life with little or no time to closely examine the changes happening to our body or general health until its sometimes too late. Fatigue is one such symptom which almost all of us initially write off as the repercussion of a tough daily work life. Unfortunately, this assumption is not always true. When fatigue is regular and always hampering your daily life it is good to have yourself checked up immediately as it could be the first signs of cancer setting in.

Fatigue could be another reason that can be part of a cluster of symptoms contributing to cancer, finding the cause for which and taking right and early action is prudent.


The oft repeated saying, ‘Prevention is better than cure.’ has significant value in the greater scheme of things. Smoking is the single largest contributor towards causation of cancers. Instead of self medicating, self treating and becoming a google doctor it is always advisable to seek medical opinion when certain symptoms persist. Many people believe in alternate therapies, however, firstly one must ensure all important investigations have been done before experimenting with our bodies.