The red flag cancer symptoms that might be mistaken for a common cold

Once the temperatures start creeping down, everyone flocks indoors and cosies up with a warm drink.

However, the colder season isn’t all just idyllic as the colder weather and people mingling indoors create an ideal breeding ground for viruses like flus and colds, leaving the sounds of coughs echoing wherever you go.

While most of these illnesses will get better after a few days or so, certain signs that overlap with common winter illnesses could be a sign of something more sinister.

Worryingly, there are five cancer symptoms which could be mistaken for the common cold.

Cancer Research UK explains the disease will affect one in two of us during our lifetime, making symptom awareness front and centre.

Therefore, the charity has outlined key symptoms to be aware of. While most of these signs will turn out to be something else like the cold, some people might have cancer.

Symptoms that could be dismissed as a cold

1. Cough

Cough can appear with a variety of winter illnesses, but if this sign persists for a few weeks or gets worse, it could be a sign of cancer.

For example, symptoms of lung cancer can include a cough that won’t go away and breathlessness.

2. Fatigue

The days getting shorter and the stress of the upcoming festive period could represent just some understandable triggers for your tiredness.

Furthermore, a fatigue that takes over your whole body could also signal that you’re about to come down with something.

However, if you’re feeling tired all the time, or for no clear reason, it could be a sign that something is wrong, making speaking to your doctor a priority.

3. Night sweats

Once you have a fever dealt by a cold, flu or Covid, you could be feeling sweaty and uncomfortable the whole night.

While night sweats can be caused by infections, certain medications, or even the menopause, it could also be a sign of cancer.

Speak to your doctor if you have very heavy, drenching night sweats, or an unexplained fever.

4. Aches and pains

Muscle aches can be another uncomfortable symptom of common winter ailments, but unexplained or persistent pain anywhere in the body could also be a sign of something more serious.

According to Cancer Research UK, the amount of pain you have can vary depending on what type of cancer you have.

And some cancers can spread to the bone which may leave you with a dull ache or throbbing pain.

5. Croaky voice or feeling hoarse

It’s common to lose your voice when a cold strikes. Even Covid can present with a hoarse voice.

But persistent hoarseness should be checked out by your doctor.

According to the NHS, the main symptom of laryngeal cancer is having a hoarse voice for more than three weeks.

Other symptoms can include a change in your voice, such as sounding hoarse, pain when swallowing or difficulty swallowing, the health service explains.

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