Commonly overlooked cancer symptoms, 21-25
21. Testicular swelling or lump
The lumps that indicate testicular cancer are nearly always painless. It's also common for a testicle to be enlarged or swollen, but lacking any specific lump that you can see or feel. Some men report feeling discomfort from the enlargement, but not an outright pain.
22. Unexplained back pain
Back pain can mean all sorts of things, of course -- most often pulled muscles or disc problems. But unexplained, persistent back pain can be an early sign of cancer as well, so get it checked out. Pain in the lower back and hips can be a sign of prostate cancer, while pain in the upper back can signal lung cancer. A pain in the upper abdomen and back is one of the few early signs of pancreatic cancer.
23. Scaly or painful nipple or chest, nipple discharge
Men do get breast cancer; they also get a condition called gynecomastia, which is a benign enlargement of the breast area. Breast cancer is usually detected as a lump, but if it's spreading inward it can also cause chest pain. Other signs of breast cancer include patches of red, scaly, or dimpled skin or changes to the nipple such as turning inward or leaking fluid. Bring any lump, swelling, or skin or nipple problem, or any chest pain, to your doctor's attention.
24. A sore or skin lump that doesn't heal, becomes crusty, or bleeds easily
Most of us know to watch moles for changes that might indicate skin cancer. But other signs, such as small waxy lumps or dry scaly patches, are easier to miss. Familiarize yourself with the different types of skin cancer -- melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma -- and be vigilant about checking skin all over the body for odd-looking growths or spots.
25. Changes in nails
Unexplained changes to the fingernails can occasionally be a sign of several types of cancer. A brown or black streak or dot under the nail can indicate skin cancer, while newly discovered "clubbing," which means enlargement of the ends of the fingers, with nails that curve down over the tips, can be a sign of lung cancer. Extremely pale or white nails, also called Terry's nails, can be a sign of severe liver disease or liver cancer.