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Registered Nurse (RN)
Medical Surgical Nursing & Pathophysiology
Skin Cancer
Cancer Warning Signs (CAUTION)

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Cancer Warning Signs (CAUTION)

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Cancer Warning Signs (CAUTION)

Tumor-guy with Caution-sign
The acronym "CAUTION" helps recognize the 7 most common signs of cancer. C for change in bowel or bladder habits, A for a sore that does not heal, U for unusual bleeding or discharge, T for thickening or lump in the breast or elsewhere, I for indigestion, O for obvious change to warts or moles, and N for nagging cough.
Change in Bowel or Bladder Habits
Delta Bowel-bowl

A change in bowel or bladder habits is a common sign of colorectal cancer. Be sure to assess usual elimination patterns against new problematic ones.

A Sore That Does Not Heal
Guy with Sores That Will Not Heal

A sore that does not heal in a reasonable timeframe may indicate cancer. If located on the skin or mouth, assess for skin or oral cancer.

Unusual Bleeding or Discharge
Guy with Unusual Bleeding or Discharge

Unusual bleeding or discharge from the bladder, vagina, or rectum may include colorectal, cervical, or prostate cancer.

Thickening or Lump in the Breast or Elsewhere
Woman with Thick Breast and Lumps

Any thickening of tissue or lump can be a sign of cancer. If located on the breast (breast cancer); If on the testicle (testicular cancer).

Dyspepsia (Indigestion)

Indigestion or difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) may indicate cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, or stomach.

Obvious Change to Warts or Moles
Mole with Warts and Moles

Following the ABCDEs of melanoma, any change in a wart or mole may indicate skin cancer.

Nagging Cough
Nagging Coughing Coffee-pot

A nagging cough or hoarseness that lasts four weeks or more can indicate lung or throat cancer.


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