Sure, you may be labeled a hypochondriac if you rush to the doctor for every ache and pain, but new research suggests many of us could stand to take an extra dose of precaution. When people experience symptoms that may indicate cancer, they tend to dismiss the problem as anything but the Big C — a mindset that could lead to missed opportunities for early diagnosis, according to a new study in the journal PLOS ONE.
Past research has shown that cancer patients often realize, after the fact, that they failed to grasp the gravity of their early symptoms and, as a result, they didn’t seek help as quickly as they should have. “We wanted to actually capture a sample of people where cancer isn’t even on their radar — to find out what people actually do when they’re experiencing a symptom that could indicate cancer,” study author Katrina Whitaker, a senior research fellow at University College London, tells Yahoo Health.
You should make an appointment with your doctor ASAP if you have experienced:
- Unexplained cough or hoarseness
- Persistent change in bowel habits
- Persistent unexplained pain
- Persistent change in bladder habits
- Unexplained lump
- Change in the appearance of a mole
- A sore that does not heal
- Unexplained bleeding
- Unexplained weight loss
- Persistent difficulty swallowing