We tend to ignore aches, painless lumps, irregular bowel movement and other innocuous signs as minor issues that do not require medical attention. However, physicians say that these seemingly harmless symptoms could be warning signs of cancer. A little precaution can lead to early diagnosis and cure.

Oncologists use an acronym – CAUTION – to help people spot the warning signs early. The acronym highlights 7 symptoms that should not be ignored.


C: Change in bowel movement

A: A sore that does not heal

U: Unusual bleeding or discharge

T: Thickening or lumps in the breast or elsewhere

I: Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing

O: Obvious changes in warts or moles

N: Nagging cough or hoarseness

Other than the 7 CAUTION signs, other symptoms that may alert one to a possible form of cancer, include:

• Unexplained loss of weight or loss of appetite

• A new pain that appear in the bones or other parts of the body

• Persistent fatigue, nausea or vomiting

• Unexplained low fever

• Recurring infections which do not respond to usual treatment

While these symptoms may also come from non-cancerous conditions, if a person notices any of these persistent signs, it is recommended that they visit a physician immediately. The sooner diagnosed, the higher chance there is of curing the cancer. Awareness is the key.