Cancer is most effectively treated when found at an early stage of development. Many times it's the patient, not the doctor, who first notices the warning signs of cancer. The American Cancer Society has listed seven basic warning signs, and it recommends that you investigate any of these symptoms without delay. These warning signs are: a change in bowel or bladder habits, such as constipation, diarrhea, or a pinkish-brown urine; a sore that won't heal; unusual bleeding or discharge; a lump in the breast, lymph glands, or elsewhere on your body; chronic indigestion or difficulty swallowing; changes in warts or moles, especially if they grow, begin to bleed, change color, size or shape, and a chronic cough or hoarseness. If you experience any one, or a combination of these symptoms, talk with your doctor. A regular health checkup is your first line of defense against cancer. For more information about cancer, contact your healthcare provider.