How can you recognize when cancer is at your door? If you're alert to subtle symptoms, you can catch the disease at the outset and get it treated before becoming advanced.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancers figure among the leading causes of death worldwide, accounting for 8.2 million deaths in 2012. Moreover, the annual cancer cases are estimated to rise from 14 million in 2012 to 22 million within the next two decades.
Cancer is a group of diseases that affect any part of the body, creating abnormal cells that grow rapidly and gradually invade other parts/organs of the body. Most of us don’t know the warning signs of the most common and deadly forms of cancer.
The signs that suggest the possibility of cancer are as follows:
Changes in a mole
If you notice changes such as bleeding, itching, increase in size or colour on a mole on your skin, you must get it checked.
A lump somewhere on your body that doesn’t look/feel normal to you could be a sign of cancer. The type of cancer depends on where the lump is. If you notice anything unusual, see your doctor. It is important to get any lumps checked as soon as you notice them, but they often occur because of other things and not cancer.
An extended cough or hoarseness
If you have a cough or hoarseness that doesn’t go away, it is one warning sign of lung cancer. If these signs last for more than 3 weeks, you must see a doctor immediately. It could also be inflammation or infection.
A change in bowel habits
If you have usual bowel motion for over three weeks, you have a reason to worry. Signs such as bleeding from the bottom for no obvious reason, severe stomach ache, difficulty in passing stools (bowel motions), loose or more frequent stools (bowel motions) and black stool (like tar) must be reported to your GP. You should always know what is normal for you.
Unexplained weight loss
One of the reasons behind the unexplained weight loss is cancer. If you’ve lost a lot of weight in a short time, get a check up from your GP to get to the underlying cause.
An early sign of some cancers, including bone cancer, is unexplained pain. We all get aches/pains, especially as we get older or by a pulled muscle but,see a doctor if you have a pain or ache that you can’t explain, isn’t getting better and lasts for several weeks.
Problem swallowing or persistent indigestion
Indigestion is a very common problem and is not usually caused by cancer, but persistent indigestion is one of the signs of the disease. A burning sensation when you swallow or food sticking in your throat could be a cancer blocking the food pipe (oesophagus).
Many things can cause these symptoms, so consult your doctor if you have any. In most cases, these turn out to be something other than cancer. Moreover, you should know the signs and symptoms of cancer. The awareness of symptoms gives you a better chance of getting cancer diagnosed and treated before the disease becomes advanced.
Read more articles on Cancer.
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