In the United States, cancer is the second-leading cause of death behind heart disease. But the earlier you detect it, the better your chances are for survival. Unfortunately, some people can have cancer without any symptoms, which means regular physical exams are essential for your well-being. It's also important to pay close attention to your body's signs, even when they're minor or easily dismissed.
If you're experiencing any of the following issues, you may want to make an appointment with your doctor to get things checked out sooner rather than later — especially if you're at a greater risk for certain types of cancer.
Sudden or unusual bleeding from various parts of your body may be a sign of cancer. Nosebleeds can stem from cancer of the nasal cavity or from leukemia. Coughing up blood could indicate lung cancer. Bloody discharge from your nipple could be a sign of breast cancer.
It's also important to check for blood when you go to the bathroom. Bloody stools may indicate colorectal cancer, while cancer of the bladder or kidneys could cause bloody urine. For women, bloody discharge from the vagina when it's not time for a period could be a sign of cancer in the reproductive organs.