15 Cancer symptoms women shouldn’t ignore

Many signs of cancer look like symptoms of other diseases, so it’s easy to miss. All of the doctors we’ve met agree: get to know your body, and if you notice any unusual pain or other changes that persist and worsen, go to your doctor.

#1Bleeding after menopause

Even after menopause, women can experience light spotting. But if you suddenly start having heavy menstrual-like bleeding, it could be an early sign of uterine cancer, says oncologist Maurie Markman. The good news is that women in stage 1, when the cancer hasn’t spread, have a five-year survival rate of 88 percent, according to the American Cancer Society. Reader’s Digest works with the American Stand Up to Cancer organization, which funds groundbreaking research projects to get patients to new treatments faster.

Some symptoms are common during this time of hormonal change. Make sure you know the main warning signs of menopause.

#2 Appearance of unevenness and discoloration on the skin of the breasts

Women are on the lookout for an abnormal lump. But there are other breast changes that signal cancer. If dimples appear on your breasts, a nipple inverts, you have swelling, tenderness or a slight discoloration of the skin to a deep red or pink, you should be concerned, says Dr. Rich Wender of the American Cancer Society. “These signs don’t indicate cancer every time, but many women delay seeking help hoping it’s nothing,” he says.