4. Colon cancer
Colon cancer is one of the sneakiest — and deadliest — cancers out there. Mayo Clinic says it begins as harmless, noncancerous polyps in your large intestine. Unfortunately, these can grow to become cancerous over time. Even though it’s a highly treatable form of cancer, people can end up living with it undetected for years if they skip their screenings. You may experience diarrhea, constipation, or blood in your stool as the condition progresses, but by this point, it’s grown beyond its early stages.
Liposarcoma is a type of cancer that develops in fatty tissue, producing tumors you may not even notice. Unfortunately, these tumors look a lot like lipomas, which are collections of fat cells that grow just beneath the skin. Tumors in the arms and legs could grow for months or years undetected, which is especially dangerous if you have one of the more life-threatening types. Cancer Treatment Centers of America warns some more serious variations of liposarcoma can spread to your liver and lungs if it isn’t treated in time.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of lung diseases difficult to detect early on. According to the COPD Foundation, coughing, tightness in the chest, and breathlessness usually develop before diagnosis. However, you could contribute these symptoms to a number of factors, like overworking or “just getting older.” Smoking is the greatest risk factor for developing COPD.
7. Fatty liver disease
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease develops when fat builds up in your liver, causing inflammation and liver cell damage, says MedlinePlus. This type of fatty liver disease isn’t related to alcohol overuse. Both types, however, are “silent” — they develop without any symptoms — and researchers still don’t know the cause. You’re more likely to develop NAFLD if you have type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, a metabolic disorder, or you are obese.
8. Lyme disease
Did you check yourself for ticks after your hike this afternoon? You should — especially if you want to avoid lyme disease. Even though it’s rare, according to Mayo Clinic, you can contract lyme disease from a single tick bite. Early on, lyme disease looks a lot like the flu — you might get chills, a fever, or feel tired. You’ve probably had the flu before, so you’re likely to assume fluids and rest will have you back in action in no time — instead of seeing a doctor for treatment.