THERE are two types of people in the world: those who love Christmas wrapping and those who hate it.
Whether you take pride in pretty paper and perfect folds or shove presents in gift bags, you will probably spend some of your Christmas wrapping stuff up.
And while you’re sorting out gifts, some potential cancer symptoms might arise.
The NHS says: “Finding cancer early means it’s easier to treat.
“It’s important to be aware of any new or worrying symptoms.
“Although it’s unlikely to be cancer, it’s important to speak to a GP so they can investigate.”
Here are some symptoms that might crop up this festive season.
For many, wrapping gift after gift can be mind-numbing and make you pretty sleepy.
On top of that, Christmas is a pretty exhausting time of year, full of socialising, late nights and, for some, lots of booze.
So it’s perfectly normal that you’d feel more tired than usual.
But if you can’t pin your fatigue to a clear reason and always feel that way, it could be a sign that something is wrong.
Fatigue may be a symptom of blood cancers, such as leukaemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma.
2. Croaky voice
For many, gift wrapping is the perfect excuse to whack on Christmas tunes and get your best singing voice on.
But competing with Mariah Carey for hours on end might leave your voice sounding a little on the hoarse side.
A croaky voice is common with colds and viruses, especially with many circulating this time of year.
According to the NHS, it’s usually a sign of acute laryngitis, (inflammation of the voice box).
You can usually fix it with some TLC and a few early bedtimes.
But a gruff voice that hasn’t gone away should be checked out, Cancer Research UK (CRUK) says.
It could be a sign of laryngeal, throat or lung cancer, the charity adds.
3. Shaky hands
Cutting through wrapping paper requires a steady hand – at least if you care about your presents looking neat and pretty.
Hands that shake uncontrollably can be a sign of many things, not least old age.
But in some cases, tremors can be a sign of a brain tumour.
This is because tremors are typically caused by issues in certain brain parts that control movement, like the cerebellum, CRUK says.
4. Unexplained pain or aches
It’s normal to experience more pain the older we get, especially while sat on the floor, hunched over gifts and wrapping paper.
However, unexplained pain can be a sign of bone cancer, according to CRUK.
The disease usually begins with a feeling of tenderness in the affected bone, which turns into an ache that is either persistent or comes and goes.
The pain can sometimes be wrongly mistaken for arthritis in adults and growing pains in children and teenagers.
5. Blurred vision
Having to blink, squint or rub your eyes a lot to get a clearer view of what you are wrapping could be a sign of ageing – or maybe you need a new pair of specs.
But sometimes, it can be a sign of a brain tumour.
Tumour symptoms can include changes in vision, like blurred or double vision, according to the Brain Tumour Charity.
This happens when the growth presses on the optic nerve.
Forgetting things from time to time is perfectly normal.
But if you frequently forget who’s gift is whose or where you put the sellotape, that could be a sign of something serious.
According to the Mayo Clinic, frontal lobe brain tumours can cause personality changes, including forgetfulness.
7. Skin changes
Gift wrapping means lots of time spent staring down at your hands.
If you notice a new spot on your hands or wrists, a cut that doesn’t heal or something that looks like a wart, even if painless, a doctor must check it.
Similarly, you should be aware of any new or existing moles that change in size, shape or colour, become crusty, itch, hurt, bleed or ooze.
Any unusual change in a patch of skin or a nail, whether it’s a new change or has been there for a while, should be checked out by your doctor.
We all know wrapping can be pretty exhausting, especially if you have a mountain of gifts.
But it shouldn’t leave you sweating.
Hot flushes can sometimes indicate an infection or the menopause.
But sweating is also a symptom of several types of cancer, including leukaemia, lymphoma, mesothelioma, and cancer of the liver and bone.
Sarah Carter is a health and wellness expert residing in the UK. With a background in healthcare, she offers evidence-based advice on fitness, nutrition, and mental well-being, promoting healthier living for readers.