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Signs You Have a "Deadly" Form of Cancer

Experts warn to watch out for these seven signs. 
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Cancer can happen to any one of us and nobody is immune from it so no matter your age or how healthy you are, it's good to know what possible signs of cancer are. "The earlier we detect cancer, the more time we have to work to improve the patient's metabolism and optimize their care, but I would say that the best step is to work on metabolism now to help prevent cancer in the first place.  We need to be looking at different lab tests and using different ranges, to catch changes in metabolism early," Dr. Christy Kesslering, a board-certified Radiation Oncologist with Care Oncology tells us. While getting a cancer diagnosis is frightening, many cancers are much more treatable today. Dr. Kesslering says, "Many, if not all, cancers have an underlying disruption in cellular metabolism.  When we pair standard of care therapies with metabolic treatments, such as diet, lifestyle and metabolic medicines, it appears that we enhance the effectiveness of treatments while decreasing the toxicities." Dr. Michael J. Shumski, a board-certified Ophthalmologist practicing at Magruder Laser Vision in Orlando, Florida adds, "Our understanding of different types of cancer on a metabolic level has allowed a myriad of new treatments to become available." Eat This, Not That! Health spoke with experts who share possible signs of cancer to be aware of and why.  Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Double Vision

Dr. Shumski says, "Brain tumors can cause blockages in the way spinal fluid exits the cranium, resulting in elevated intracranial pressure, or may directly compress nerves controlling eye movements. Either of these mechanisms can result in the nerves and muscles controlling the eyes to not move in sync, resulting in double vision."


Loss Of Peripheral Vision Or Loss Of Vision In One Eye

Woman rubbing her eyes.

According to Dr. Shumski, "Brain tumors can compress the visual pathways that connect the eyes to the visual cortex area of the brain. This can result in loss of peripheral vision, typically in both eyes. Loss of vision in one eye can compress the optic nerve by a brain or orbital tumor can result in loss of vision in one eye. Brain tumors or metastases of other tumors to the brain commonly present with visual symptoms or headache. It's important to let a doctor know if you are experiencing these symptoms." 



Woman anemia

Lisa L Ellsworth, PA-C, MHS Physician Assistant and Integrative Health Coach who Helps Cancer Survivors Improve and Optimize Health shares, "A new onset anemia particularly in someone who should not have any blood loss (male or postmenopausal female is GI blood loss until proven otherwise.)  This is one of the most common presenting symptoms of a new onset colon cancer…iron deficiency anemia particularly.  You'll also want to correlate this with any black or blood in the stool."


Discharge From The Nipple

breast cancer

Shelly Beckley, oncology nurse practitioner and clinical support lead at Outcomes4Me, a patient empowerment platform that helps cancer patients navigate their care and gain access to personalized treatment options explains, "Nipple discharge can occur naturally and the majority of the time is not related to breast cancer. However, if you are not currently pregnant, lactating, or recently stopped breastfeeding and notice bloody or clear discharge from one side that occurs without squeezing or stimulation to the nipple, it is best to see your medical team for evaluation as this could be an early sign of breast cancer."


Skin Dimpling Around The Breast Area

African woman's hand holding pink ribbon against breast cancer

Beckley says, "Sudden changes in the overall appearance of the breast skin, including skin dimpling (which can have the appearance of an orange peel), could be another sign of inflammatory breast cancer. Typically any symptom in the breast that suddenly appears and spreads rapidly should be evaluated as soon as possible."


Changes in Skin

Young woman looking at birthmark on her back, skin. Checking benign moles.

Gail Trauco, R.N.,BSN-OCN–registered Oncology nurse and Patients' Rights Advocate with The PharmaKon LLC states, "Skin changes should be monitored to measure your overall health.  For example, yellowing of the eyes or fingertips is "jaundice" which can be an early warning sign of cancer or infection.  Changes in moles should also be an area of concern.  Call your doctor if you notice:

Moles with jagged edges

Moles changing color or getting darker

Mole's bleeding

Moles increasing in size

Moles should be removed by a licensed physician who sends the mole to a pathological lab for analysis. Do NOT allow an aesthetic clinic or doctor to freeze or shave a mole to discard the specimen in the trash. This is a common mistake which can cost patients their lives in later years with recurrent metastasis which may be melanoma."


Change In Bowel Habits

open the bathroom door, go to toilet

Dr. JB Kirby a doctorate-prepared nurse practitioner who worked in  Hematology/Oncology for 10 years says, "A change in bowel habits such as sudden constipation or diarrhea, or blood in the stool. Colon cancer is the 3rd most prevalent cancer in the U.S. Getting a screening colonoscopy is a good preventative measure. This can look for suspicious polyps that can be an early sign of cancer. But, if you have a change in bowel habits, such as constipation or diarrhea and/or blood in your stool, you need to visit your healthcare provider. The signs of colon cancer can vary which is why you should report persistent changes to your healthcare provider for a thorough evaluation." 

Heather Newgen
Heather Newgen has two decades of experience reporting and writing about health, fitness, entertainment and travel. Heather currently freelances for several publications. Read more about Heather
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