Cancer is a group of over 100 different diseases, most of which present a life-threatening risk. Essentially, it’s a disease in which the cells begin to grow and multiply uncontrollably, forming a tumour. There’s no cure against cancer as of yet. Therefore, the only chance at survival is detecting it in its early stages. With multiple types of cancers targeting different parts of the body, there are rarely any specific symptoms.
However, there are sure early-on warning signs which can be detected, including:
Loss of appetite – The most common warning sign of cancer is an unnecessary loss of appetite. The development of cancerous cells changes the metabolic activities within the body, causing a significant shift in eating patterns. It’s especially common if you begin to develop ovarian, lung, stomach or pancreatic cancer. So keep an eye out for any sudden appetite or weight loss lasting more than a few days.
Blood in the stool: Finding blood in your bowel movement indicates that something went wrong within the gastrointestinal tract. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve cancer since haemorrhoids also cause frequent rectal bleeding. However, since the GI tract consists of several organs, from the mouth to the anus, you should consult your doctor right away to schedule a colonoscopy.
Breast lumps or discharge: Since women are greatly more susceptible to developing breast cancer, they’re advised to self-examine every month. While most breast lumps turn out to be non-cancerous tumours, you must still visit your doctor and carry out the necessary tests. Generally, a mammogram is sufficient. However, an MRI or ultrasound of the breasts is not unheard of. In addition to any lumps, discharge from the nipples may also present a warning for cancer, especially if it’s a bloody discharge.
Consider watching this video to know more about what causes cancer…
Lumps in the testicles: About 1 in every 250 men is susceptible to developing testicular cancer. Through a monthly self-examine, you must check for any lumps, redness or swelling in the testes. In the early stages, the node might even be pea-sized, so you’ll have to keep an eye out for any slight changes. Other signs you may notice include a slight ache in the lower abdomen or a sensation of heaviness in the scrotum.
Anaemia: A low blood count may not always be an indication of cancer. And due to the widespread nature of anaemia, you may not even look twice. But if the anaemia feels unexplained and sudden, it’s recommended to schedule an endoscopy or an X-ray of the intestinal tract. Bowel cancers are known to cause iron deficiency anaemia.
Abnormal periods, pelvic pain or bloating: It’s common for women to get cramps or bloating during their periods. However, persistent pain in the pelvic region or excessive bloating may be a sign of something else. If you find the pain out of the ordinary, it’s advised to get tested for ovarian cancer.
The fight against cancer requires your active involvement. You must self-examine any irregularities in the body and keep an eye out for any warning signals. Remember, prevention is better than cure, and since cancer is an incurable disease, early-on detection is essential for your wellbeing.
Until Next Time,
Team Doctor ASKY!