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Home › Health › Women and cancer: 5 signs you shouldn’t ignore
Women and cancer: 5 signs you shouldn’t ignore

Women and cancer: 5 signs you shouldn’t ignore

Our bodies are in constant flux, thanks to factors like stress, hormones, diet, lifestyle, and so much more. 

While some changes to the body are normal and expected, others could be a sign of something more serious, like cancer. 

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), “some of the cancers that most often affect women are breast, colorectal, endometrial, lung, cervical, skin, and ovarian cancers.” 

Of course not every change in a woman’s body is a sign of cancer – but here are common signs you shouldn’t ignore.

Changes in breast skin colour

Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare form of cancer characterized by changes in the colour of the breast skin, becoming ‘purple or red’ on ‘more than one-third of the breast’, according  to the ACS.

Other symptoms of this breast cancer include those of ductal and lobular carcinomas, along with breast swelling; dimpled or pitted skin (like that of an orange peel); itching or burning; tenderness or pain; the breast feeling warm to the touch; and a lump near the armpit or collarbone.

fighting breast cancer

Blood in the stool

Since colorectal cancers “often bleed into the digestive tract,” another sign of this cancer is blood in the stool, according to the ACS. “Sometimes the blood can be seen in the stool or make it look darker.” 

Over time, blood loss like this can lead to anemia, or a low red blood cell count, which results in weakness and fatigue. 

Related: This diet can potentially lower chances of breast cancer

Abdominal, back, or pelvic pain

Ovarian cancer symptoms can include abdominal bloating, lower back pain, and changes in appetite, such as a loss of appetite or feeling full sooner, according to the CTCA.

Pelvic pain and pressure is one of the common symptoms of both ovarian and uterine cancers. Constipation and urgent or more frequent needs to urinate are also signs of ovarian and vaginal cancers. 

Changes in vulva skin or colour

Unlike the other gynecologic cancers, vulvar cancer is the only type to have symptoms that include “itching, burning, pain, or tenderness of the vulva,” according to the CDC, along with “changes in vulva color or skin, such as a rash, sores, or warts.”

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