Do you have a doubt that some form of cancer is developing inside you? These signals listed in this article may help you to detect if there is something that you need to be actually worried or taken care of. Cancer is indeed a dreaded disease. But early detection and treatment is the best method possible to prevent cancer from killling you.
Warning Signals of cancer falls into various categories, They are
1. Warning signals of oral cancer and precancerous lesions
Cancer of the oral cavity is predominantly seen among those who chew tobacco.The red and white colored patches ,non healing ulcers of long duration, ulcers caused by sharp tooth etc has to be shown to a doctor.Inability to tolerate spices along with glistening appearance of the tongue and lining of cheeks especially in tobacco habitues needs medical attention.
2. Warning signals of breast cancer
Lump in the breast which is increasing in size and or causing pain and changes in the overlying skin is a warning symptom.Red or brown colored discharge from the nipple or any swelling in the axilla needs to be investigated.
3. Warning signals of uterine cervical cancer
Bleeding per vagina after intercourse ,excess discharge from the vagina, bleeding after attaining menopause and bleeding between menstrual periods are symptoms that needs a consultation with a gynecologist.
4. Head and Neck cancer
Painless enlargement of lymph nodes in the neck, appearance of tumors or nodules in the neck especially in tobacco habitues and alcoholics are one of the warning signals of head and neck cancers. There are many benign conditions where the same symptoms can occur.
5. Prostate cancer
Frequency, urgency and difficulty in passing urine with or without blood in males above 50 years needs medical help.
6. Gastro intestinal cancer or Colo rectal cancer
Bleeding per rectum with altered bowel habits like constipation alternating with diarrhea and passing mucous with abdominal discomfort can be a warning signal of gastrointestinal cancer or colo rectal cancer – consult a Surgeon.
7. Skin cancer
Changes in moles or pigmented skin lesions like appearance of fissuring, ridges, furrows and ulceration in the moles, appearance of satellite lesions, itching with bleeding and sudden enlargement of pigmented moles can be warning signals of skin cancer in rare cases.
8. Cancer of larynx(Vocal cord)
Progressive hoarseness of voice ultimately resulting in absence of sound especially in a smoker or alcoholic can be warning symptom of cancer of larynx(vocal cord).
9. Cancer of the Esophagus
Progressive dysphagia i.e. difficulty in swallowing solid food and later on leading to difficulty in drinking can be a warning signal of cancer esophagus – consult a Gastroenterologist. Similar complaints can be present in psychosomatic patients and in some other benign conditions.
Swelling or enlargement of lymph nodes in the neck, bony swellings or tumor anywhere in the body can be a signal of benign or malignant tum our – Consult a surgeon.
Combined symptoms of lymph nodular enlargement, pallor, loss of weight, fatigue, bleeding gums, weakness, recurrent fever and bone pain may be a warning symptom of leukemia.
12. Non healing ulcers
Non healing ulcers of long duration anywhere in the body which is not responding to antibiotic treatment may transform to malignancy and hence it is advisable to consult a surgeon.
Bleeding from any orifice like nose, ear, anus, vagina, mouth or from the conjunctiva may be warning signal of cancer in rare cases.
Note – Any individual having any of the above mentioned warning signals need not panic as it does not mean that they have cancer. But they should consult a doctor so that they can have the necessary investigations done to rule out cancer.
1. Lack of Green and Yellow Vegetables
2. Excess Tobacco Chewing and Smoking
3. Excess Alcohol Drinking
4. Excess Consumption of High Fat Diets and lack of exercise
5. Early age at marriage, multiple sexual partners, poor genital hygiene.
Cancer can happen to any body at any point of their life. So it is necessary to know these facts for prevention, early detection and treatment of cancer. If you have any of the above mentioned warning signals, there is no need to panic. Consult a doctor and explain the problems you are facing. He can provide you a definitive diagnosis. Self diagnosis should not be done with the above said signs alone.
Regional Cancer Center, Trivandrum, Kerala
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