Being diagnosed with cancer is news no one ever wants to hear.

For some people, the diagnosis might come as a surprise, with no signs or warnings whatsoever.

Others, however might have detected some irregularities, or suffered from symptoms which led them to believe something wasn't quite right, leading them to run to a doctor.

Only to have their worst fears realized.


Redditor TrojanZebra was curious to hear from those lucky enough to survive cancer the first or earliest signs that maybe they should seek medical help, leading them to ask:
"People of Reddit who have gone through or are going through cancer, what was the first sign that made you go to the doctor?"

Lucky To Be Scolded By Dad.

"I was fooling around in a mall as a kid."

"So My dad grabbed me by the neck to make me behave."

"He felt a lump on my neck and immediately began to get nervous."

"We went to the doctor the next day, caught the cancer before it spread and was able to surgically remove it about a month later."

"Got super lucky."- SockFeetLover

Misdiagnosis

"My sister noticed a small painful lump in her breast shortly after having her second child."

'Doctor diagnosed a blocked mammary gland."

"A couple weeks later it still wasn’t gone."

"Again doc said blocked gland."

"Months later it’s still not gone and she insists on getting a second opinion."

"Stage 3 breast cancer."

"Double mastectomy immediately followed by months of agonizing radiation and chemo only to find out it’s now stage four."

"She’s been stable for a few years but now it’s spreading again and we don’t know how long we have with her."

"Trying to be as positive as possible."- KidGorgeous19

Persistant Headaches

"My 33 year old husband was diagnosed with inoperable glioblastoma, most aggressive brain cancer, in January 2019, when he was 31."

"What caused him to get a check, was persistent headache that didn’t go away with paracetamols and sleep."

"We discovered the tumors after taking an MRI."

"Needless to say, our lives were changed forever."

"Now we are at the end of our journey, and it’s been a harrowing experience for me as his wife and caregiver."

"It’s a lonely journey."

"I don’t wish it upon anyone and no one has any idea what glioblastoma is like, unless they have gone through it."

"The median survival time is 14-18 months."

"Viktor has passed away yesterday, on 1st August."

"He was surrounded by his brother and me and smiled a lot to the very end."

"At his final resting position, his face looked relaxed and a little smile can be seen by us too."

"I am still in shock, processing what has happened to us. I’ll take the time I need to process this and grieve."

"I just miss my husband."

"I miss his laughs."

"I miss his smile."

"I feel loved."

"I know I’m loved."

"So that’s keeping me together."

"May Viktor find peace."

"I know he’s not in pain now."- syarkbait

Swollen Head and Neck

"My head and neck area became very swollen."

"At first I thought I was just getting fat, so I worked out a lot and ate better."

"This did not help."

"I also went to a local clinic and they thought it might be an allergic reaction and gave me steroids, which also didn’t help."

"The thing that finally made me go to the emergency room and not leave until I had an answer is that I started to develop unexplained bruises on my chest."

"Turns out I had a huge tumor in my chest which had grown around my heart and was compressing the superior vena cava so blood couldn’t flow back down from my head."

"Not great!"

"The good news is that it turned out to be very treatable and I’ve been cancer free for 11 years now."- eskimospy212

A Different Lump

"Funnily enough, it was a totally unrelated lump."

"'Nope, that lump is fine, just a lipoma'."

"'However, we found another lump in the corner of your x-ray and we need to biopsy it'."- something_crass

Excessive Bleeding

"Super heavy periods that would last for 10 or more days."

"Got an iud to help control bleeding."

"Actually hemorrhaged so bad the iud came out."

"Endometrial Cancer, huge tumor in my uterus."

"Ladies, it's not normal to need a tampon and pad at the same time."

"It's not normal to need to change them every 10 minutes or even every hour."

"An average period is 2-3 Tablespoons, just for reference."

"Sorry if TMI."

"I am one year NED (no evidence of disease)."

"I was diagnosed at 40."

"The main take away is if something is not right, keep looking for answers and the right physician."

"Heavy periods do not usually mean cancer in pre menopausal women, but there is no reason to suffer through them."

"Post menopausal women should not experience any bleeding, one drop and you should go to the doctor right away."- Icewaterforall

If something seems off, or doesn't go away in a reasonable amount of time, it's always best to see a doctor.

Even if you have the slightest doubt.

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