Did you know your whole body \u2014 not just your mouth \u2014 can be an excellent communicator? Recognizing changes in your body can help in the early detection and treatment of cancer and other serious medical problems.\nThere are numerous warning symptoms for\u00a0cancer, many of which also can point to other serious medical conditions. According to Edward Chu, MD, chief of the Division of Hematology\/Oncology at UPMC and deputy director of the\u00a0University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, you should call your primary care physician (PCP) if you have any unusual or persistent symptoms that last longer than two to three weeks.\nSymptoms to Watch\nCommon cancer warnings that most know about include:\n\nA sore that does not heal\nA thickening or lump in the breast, or lumps in other parts of the body\nBlood in the stool or urine\nChanges in the size or color of a mole\u00a0on the skin\n\nIt is also important to be aware of more generalized body changes (also known as constitutional symptoms) that can compromise your overall well-being. They can include:\n\nIncreasing tiredness (fatigue)\nUnexplained weight loss (typically 10 pounds or more) or loss of appetite\nChanges in how food tastes or smells\nFever and chills\nNight sweats\nShortness of breath or difficulty breathing\nUnexplained headaches that persist\n\nHowever, do not assume you have cancer just because of unusual symptoms. \u201cThese symptoms don\u2019t necessarily mean you have cancer,\u201d said Dr. Chu. \u201cBut if they worsen or linger for a prolonged period, it\u2019s important for your doctor to rule out \u2014 or treat \u2014 possible problems.\u201d\nBy getting to know what\u2019s typical for your own body, you\u2019ll be better able to recognize unfamiliar changes when they occur.