Cancer - Signs and Symptoms

There are over a 100 different known cancers that can affect a human body. Each of these has their own set of signs and symptoms. However, there are certain things that one can look out for.

 

Cancer is a scary word, especially these days. Everyday there is a new story about someone else being diagnosed with cancer, or worse losing their life to cancer; which is why it is understandable to be scared of cancer. What makes matters worse is the fact there is no way to protect oneself against cancer, there is no prevention. The most one can do is keep getting checked and screened, and hope that they catch the cancer before it spreads and becomes too harmful. The earlier the cancer is caught and treated, the higher the success rate of survival.

Additionally, non smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, not drinking too much alcohol, eating plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, being vaccinated against certain infectious diseases, not eating too much processed and red meat, and avoiding too much exposure to sunlight can reduce the chances of developing cancer in the first place.

Furthermore, cancer is even more dangerous and confusing as there are over a 100 different known cancers that can affect a human body. Each of these has their own set of signs and symptoms. There are even some that show no symptoms, or only show symptoms in the later stages. However, there are certain things that one can look out for. If you notice any of these symptoms, or even suspect cancer, you should talk to your doctor, as further testing will be required for diagnosis, and it just may save your life.

Common signs and symptoms of cancer:

  • Unexplained lumps anywhere on the body, especially if they bleed. Women should specially look for lumps in their breasts, while men on their testicles.
  • Cough that lasts for more than three weeks and/or presence of chest pain, hoarseness and breathlessness.
  • Unexpected changes in bowel movements.
  • Difficulty urinating.
  • Blood in urine or stool.
  • Bleeding in between menstruation cycle.
  • Unexplained weight change.
  • Skin changes, such as yellowing, darkening or redness of the skin, sores that won't heal.
  • Changes in a mole on the skin
  • Any abnormal bleeding or bruising
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Difficulty in swallowing or continuing indigestion
  • Persistent, unexplained muscle or joint pain
  • Persistent, unexplained fevers or night sweats
  • White or bright-red patches inside the mouth or on the lips

Image Courtesy: healthimprovementteam.co.uk

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