7. Persistent Cough
Any persistent cough -- one that lasts more than 2 or 3 weeks and is not due to an allergy or upper respiratory infection, or one that produces blood -- needs to be checked by your doctor.
If your cough may be caused by smoking or being exposed to secondhand smoke, get it checked out. "Smoking is the number one cancer killer of women," says Karlan.
You don't have to be a smoker to be at risk. The majority of lung cancers that nonsmokers get also occur in women. Expect your doctor to order a chest X-ray and perhaps a CT scan.