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Sure Signs You May Have the "Most Common" Cancer, According to the CDC

These all-too-common cancers may be spotted early.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Along with being the go-to resource for all things coronavirus, the CDC provides Americans with the information they need about a variety of other health scourges, including all kinds of cancer. Tapping them as a resource, we rounded up the most common signs and symptoms of the most common cancers. "Keep in mind that these symptoms can happen with other conditions that are not" these cancers, warns the CDC. Read on about 8 different types of cancer, so you can spot the signs early—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Signs of Lung Cancer

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"Different people have different symptoms for lung cancer. Some people have symptoms related to the lungs. Some people whose lung cancer has spread to other parts of the body (metastasized) have symptoms specific to that part of the body," says the CDC. "Some people just have general symptoms of not feeling well. Most people with lung cancer don't have symptoms until the cancer is advanced. Lung cancer symptoms may include—

  • Coughing that gets worse or doesn't go away.
  • Chest pain.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Wheezing.
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Feeling very tired all the time.
  • Weight loss with no known cause.

Other changes that can sometimes occur with lung cancer may include repeated bouts of pneumonia and swollen or enlarged lymph nodes (glands) inside the chest in the area between the lungs."

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2

Signs of Skin Cancer

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"A change in your skin is the most common sign of skin cancer. This could be a new growth, a sore that doesn't heal, or a change in a mole," says the CDC. "Not all skin cancers look the same. For melanoma specifically, a simple way to remember the warning signs is to remember the A-B-C-D-Es of melanoma—

  • A stands for asymmetrical. Does the mole or spot have an irregular shape with two parts that look very different?
  • B stands for border. Is the border irregular or jagged?
  • C is for color. Is the color uneven?
  • D is for diameter. Is the mole or spot larger than the size of a pea?
  • E is for evolving. Has the mole or spot changed during the past few weeks or months?

Talk to your doctor if you notice changes in your skin such as a new growth, a sore that doesn't heal, a change in an old growth, or any of the A-B-C-D-Es of melanoma."

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3

Signs of Colorectal (Colon) Cancer

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"Colorectal polyps and colorectal cancer don't always cause symptoms, especially at first. Someone could have polyps or colorectal cancer and not know it. That is why getting screened regularly for colorectal cancer is so important," says the CDC. "If you have symptoms, they may include—

  • A change in bowel habits.
  • Blood in or on your stool (bowel movement).
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or feeling that the bowel does not empty all the way.
  • Abdominal pain, aches, or cramps that don't go away.
  • Losing weight and you don't know why.

If you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor. They may be caused by something other than cancer. The only way to know what is causing them is to see your doctor."

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4

Signs of Prostate Cancer

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"Different people have different symptoms for prostate cancer. Some men do not have symptoms at all," says the CDC. "If you have any of the following symptoms, be sure to see your doctor right away—

  • Difficulty starting urination.
  • Weak or interrupted flow of urine.
  • Frequent urination, especially at night.
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder completely.
  • Pain or burning during urination.
  • Blood in the urine or semen.
  • Pain in the back, hips, or pelvis that doesn't go away.
  • Painful ejaculation."

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5

Signs of Ovarian Cancer

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"Ovarian cancer may cause the following signs and symptoms," says the CDC:

  • "Vaginal bleeding (particularly if you are past menopause), or discharge from your vagina that is not normal for you.
  • Pain or pressure in the pelvic area.
  • Abdominal or back pain.
  • Bloating.
  • Feeling full too quickly, or difficulty eating.
  • A change in your bathroom habits, such as more frequent or urgent need to urinate and/or constipation.

Pay attention to your body, and know what is normal for you. If you have unusual vaginal bleeding, see a doctor right away. If you have any of the other signs for two weeks or longer and they are not normal for you, see a doctor."

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6

Signs of Breast Cancer

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"Different people have different symptoms of breast cancer. Some people do not have any signs or symptoms at all," says the CDC. "Some warning signs of breast cancer are—

  • New lump in the breast or underarm (armpit).
  • Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
  • Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
  • Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
  • Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
  • Pain in any area of the breast."

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6

Signs of Uterine Cancer

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"Uterine cancer may cause vaginal discharge or bleeding that is not normal for you. Bleeding may be abnormal because of how heavy it is or when it happens, such as after you have gone through menopause and between periods. Bleeding is never normal after your periods stop. Uterine cancer may also cause other symptoms, such as pain or pressure in your pelvis," says the CDC. "If you have bleeding that is not normal for you, especially if you have already gone through menopause, see a doctor right away. Also see a doctor if you have any other signs or symptoms for two weeks or longer. These things may be caused by something other than cancer, but the only way to know is to see your doctor."

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8

Signs of Cervical Cancer

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"Early on, cervical cancer may not cause signs and symptoms. Advanced cervical cancer may cause bleeding or discharge from the vagina that is not normal for you, such as bleeding after sex. If you have any of these signs, see your doctor. They may be caused by something other than cancer, but the only way to know is to see your doctor," says the CDC. And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more
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