According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), 8.2 million people died of cancer in 2012. And this number is expected to rise up to 21.7 million by 2030.
The word cancer is profound enough to make anyone’s mind sink. It is a disease that has been terrorizing the human being for decades. But the good news is, cancer is curable if diagnosed at the early stage. The researchers are always in search of new medications or therapies to help combat this deadly disease. They have invented a number of medications and therapies to help treat cancer.
Now it is proven clinically that early detection of cancer can not only affect life expectancy but also cure this killer disease. So, in order to beat cancer, it is essential to know most of the predetermined factors needed clinical attention. It is a fact that the majority of the cancers can be diagnosed at the early stage whereas a few are not. But, exception asides, let’s find out when to seek medical attention.
Remember the word CAUTION when it comes to diagnosing cancer. This word will focus on 7 warning signs of cancer that you should not ignore.
Change in bowel or bladder habits:
Change in bowel movement is closely associated with colorectal cancer. This change can be anything between the frequencies of bowel movement to consistency fecal. Besides, if you experience diarrhea for more than 24 hours or do not have a bowel movement for more than 3 days consult your physician.
It is true that changes in bowel habit can also be associated with:
- Celiac disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Ulcerative colitis
So, visit your GP at the earliest to have a proper diagnosis.
A Sore That Does Not Heal:
When was the last time you experienced a sore throat? Well, many a time right? And Most of the time either it healed naturally or you might have taken some Home Remedies. In the worst cases (viral causes), you had taken antibiotics prescribed by your physician.
But if you have been suffering from a sore throat for a longer period of time, make sure to see your doctor. A sore throat can also be one of the prime symptoms of oral cancer. Though throat cancer causes symptoms only at an advanced stage, sometimes you can observe them at the early stage. According to the American Cancer Society developing a tumor just below the vocal cords causes this soreness.
So, never ignore a persistent sore throat if you have a long-standing history of smoking and/or indulgence in alcohol.
Unusual Bleeding or Discharge:
Bleeding or discharge from rectum, vagina or bladder can happen at the primary stage of colorectal, cervical or prostate cancer.
Colorectal cancer: Rectal bleeding is the most common symptom of colorectal cancer. Fecal blood can also be the indication of ulcerative colitis, hemorrhoids, Crohn’s disease, and fissures. However, consult your doctor if you experience blood in the stool. And this also helps in ruling out the conditions at the early stage.
Cervical Cancer: Irregular vaginal bleeding that occurs immediately after copulate or between periods can be the most common symptom of cervical cancer. Besides a heavy menstrual period that lasts longer than usual can also be a risk factor for cervical cancer, says the American Cancer Society. Call your physician if you have any of the above-mentioned symptoms.
Prostate cancer: Hematuria or presence of blood in the urine is the most significant symptom of prostate or bladder cancer. However, blood in urine or semen does not always necessarily mean that you have cancer. As those with UTI or Urinary Tract Infection often experience similar symptoms. So don’t be panic if you experience hematuria. Just go to the doctor’s office to have a proper diagnosis.
Thickening or Lump in Breasts or Elsewhere:
What is the most common symptom of breasts cancer? Lumps in the breasts right? But swelling of the entire breasts or part of it with redness and discoloration of the skin can also be a signal to Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC). Thinking, dimpling, itching, and scaling of nipple or breasts skins and abnormal discharge from the nipple, other than milk, can also be associated with breast cancer.
Cancerous lumps can also be found in testicles and lymph nodes. Important to know that any lump in the soft tissue can also be an indication of any form of diseases at an advanced stage. So, make sure to visit your doctor should you find any lump in your body.
Remember, breasts cancer is very common in women but men are not exempted from it. In the US about 2000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer and 450 men died from it.
Indigestion of Dysphagia:
Diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is quite difficult as it does not have any symptoms at the early stage. Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the most common type of pancreatic cancer. In an advanced stage, a pancreatic cancer patient may experience:
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
Besides these symptoms can also be an indication of stomach cancer. Dysphagia or difficulty swallowing is associated with mouth, throat or esophageal cancer. Therefore, to avoid confusion and rule out the symptoms make sure to visit your GP at the onset of symptoms.
Obvious change in wart or mole:
Moles are generally black, tan or brownish color spots on the skin. Most of the moles are less than 6mm in size and can be present at birth or develop anytime from childhood to adulthood. A normal mole does not change color, shape or size for many years. Most of the moles are benign but there are a few that are cancerous.
Changes in color, shape or size of any moles, freckle or wart can be an indication of melanoma, the most common type of skin cancer. Multicolored moles that often bleed and have irregular edges can also be cancerous.
See your doctor if you find any abnormal changes in shape, color or size of your moles. Remember, an early diagnosis increase the chances of faster recovery.
Nagging Cough or Hoarseness:
If you experience a persistent cough with hoarseness of voice then you might have developed cancer in your lungs or in the larynx. These symptoms are not only specific to lung cancer but could signal to any respiratory disease. So it is necessary to call your doctor if you experience any of the mentioned symptoms for a longer period of time.