One of the main things that you can do to raise your chances of surviving cancer is to spot it early. Here we share with you some of the major signals for the most common cancers in woman and tell you how to spot them.
If you catch cancer early, the appropriate treatment can be started immediately and the cancer has less time to spread. When cancer has spread to organs such as the brain, lungs and liver, in can be very difficult to eradicate. It is always best to treat the cancer when it is still just a primary tumour.
Many of the signs are symptoms below are nothing to do with cancer whatsoever so they should not be a cause for panic. They are simply a sign that you should visit your doctor and discuss the situation. Be absolutely honest in the information that you give your doctor – do not try to be brave or hide anything.
If your doctor feels that you need further tests then they will arrange that quickly.
Rapid unexplained weight loss
If you lose a lot of weight, without any obvious reason (like a diet or increased exercise), you should make sure to go to your doctor. It is possible that it could be a sign of pancreas, stomach, oesophagus, or lung cancer.
Mouth ulcers that will not heal
We all get mouth ulcers on our lips and gums but if they persist for more than three weeks, you should talk to a doctor. It can be a sign of mouth cancer and must be checked out quickly.
Fevers are associated with many diseases including the common cold. However, some cancers can cause regular fevers as well because the immune system is being affected. Get your doctor to check this out.
Frequent abdominal problems
Persistent abdominal issues such as pain, swelling, a sensation of fullness, frequent diarrhoea or constipation without an apparent reason should be checked out. A major warning sig which is always a concern is rectal bleeding, or streaks of dark-coloured blood in your bowel motions. You should consult with a doctor immediately about this as it needs urgent investigation.
Coughs can be a problem and do tend to linger after a cold but if you have a strong cough that persists longer than three weeks, whether it is a dry cough or if it comes with expectoration, or if you there are any spots of blood in your phlegm you must get it checked out. You should also be concerned if your voice is rough and scratchy regularly, as it can be a sign of lung cancer. If you notice any of these symptoms you should go to a doctor immediately.
If you notice any changes in the colour of your skin they need to be checked out. This is especially true for moles and freckles. If you notice new moles or changes in the moles that you have, itching, spots of dead skin, or any unprovoked bleeding it is essential that you see a doctor right away.
This is the appearance of white patches in the mouth or on the tongue that can be caused by frequent irritation, previous injury, or the consumption of cigarettes and alcohol. These lesions should be treated as soon as possible, because they can develop into oral cancer.
Repeated and unexplained bleeding
Blood in the urine can be a sign of bladder or kidney cancer, blood in the faeces could indicate colon or intestinal cancer and spots of blood in the phlegm could mean lung cancer. For women, abnormally large or frequent amount of vaginal bleeding can be a sign of uterine or cervical cancer.
Get the bleeding checked out by a doctor.
Enlargement or lumps in a breast
Breast changes and lumps are not always cancer but must be checked out by a doctor. Your doctor may send you for a mammogram, which is very simple, completely painless, and over in about five minutes, so you have no excuse for not having one!
You cannot prevent all cancers so there is no point in getting very anxious about it. However, there are several things that you can do to cut down your chances of developing this disease.
Start by stopping smoking – today! Then watch your diet – eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains. Drink plenty of water but watch your alcohol consumption and get plenty of exercise.
Look after yourself in the sun by using a sunscreen and hat. Even better – cover up with a thick cotton shirt.