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7 Secret Signs You Might Have Cancer

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, two in five Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. In 2015 alone, approximately 78,000 people died of some form of the disease. These seven cancer signs are definitely worth discussing with your doctor.

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Woman on a weight scalePhoto: Shutterstock

Cancer Signs: Unexplained Weight Loss

If you’ve lost more than 10 pounds over a brief period of time without making changes to your diet or exercise plan, you should be sure to get checked out by a medical professional. One of the most obvious cancer signs, unexplained weight loss is usually associated with cancers of the pancreas, stomach, esophagus or lung.

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Fatigue is one of the biggest cancer signsPhoto: Shutterstock

Cancer Signs: Fatigue

If you’re under short-term stress, feeling more tired than normal is understandable, but if you don’t know why you’re tired, be sure to speak to a doctor. Exhaustion can be an early sign of blood cancer and is associated with advanced stages of melanoma and cancers of the prostate and liver.

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Cancer Signs: Respiratory Issues


Persistent coughs or chest pains are worth getting examined, as they can be early symptoms of lung cancer. Coughs may include mucus and often last over eight weeks.

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Cancer Signs: Unexplained Bleeding


If you noticed bloody residue from your mouth or nose after coughing, in your urine or stool, coming from your nipples or anywhere else unusual, alert your doctor. Vaginal bleeding, for instance, is the one of the most common signs of invasive cervical cancer.

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Cancer Signs: Pain


Though extreme cancer-related discomfort can mean the disease has already spread, significant pain throughout the body can be an early symptom of bone or pancreatic cancer.

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Cancer Signs: Moles


Large, multicoloured blemishes, or ones that grow or change over time, should be checked to rule out melanoma. Consult with a doctor if you notice long-lasting lesions in your mouth or on your genitals, which could be signs of other cancers.

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Cancer Signs: Bowel or Urinary Changes


An increased need to pee (or new-found difficulties with urination) can indicate an enlarged prostate or prostate cancer. Changes in bowel patterns – such as constipation or diarrhea – may signal colon cancer.