Cancer continues to be a global problem, taking lives every day. The disease is a mystery with no known cure. At the moment, there are over 100 types of cancer recorded, and a lot more to learn about the disease.
Extensive research and new-age interventions offer relief to many patients. Yet, many people have no idea how to keep an eye out on the tell-tale signs.
Cancer is easier to treat and manage when caught early. That’s why it’s encouraged to go for cancer screening regularly and to watch out for some of the known signs.
What is Cancer and What Causes It?
Cancer is the abnormal growth of cells anywhere in the body. These abnormal or cancerous cells are different from the other cells as they reproduce at an extremely high rate.
Many cancers get their name according to their origin. For instance, cancer originating in the breast is referred to as breast cancer.
Since there are multiple types of cancer, there are hundreds of known and possible causes. For instance, poor diet, lack of activity, and exposure to harmful chemicals can cause cancer.
Perhaps one of the well-known causes of cancer is smoking as it directly affects the lungs. An alternative to smoking that reduces its risks is vaping. Learn more about it here.
Here are some of the most common types of cancer:
- Blood Cancers
Signs and Symptoms of Cancer
All symptoms may not point to cancer. The doctor must examine you before they can give a cancer diagnosis. They will usually run multiple tests to figure out the type of cancer and the stage it’s in.
Now, here are signs and symptoms to look out for:
Fatigue is one way for your body to ask for some rest. When you have a busy day at work, it’s not unusual to get exhausted and want to sleep. However, one should not feel too tired that it affects their daily activities.
If you notice that you get worn out by doing the simplest things, take it seriously and go in for a checkup.
Remember, fatigue isn’t an illness but a symptom of an underlying condition, and cancer is one of them.
During examination, your doctor will rule out other factors that can be a cause of fatigue as many of them aren’t serious such as dehydration, insomnia, stress and anxiety.
Lumps in the breast or in any other area can be a sign of a tumor. While there are several types of benign tumors, some are cancerous. A tumor requires medical intervention to find out whether it is cancerous.
Lumps in the breast can be a common first sign of breast cancer. You can feel it with your hands when you touch it. If you have one, schedule an appointment to undergo screening.
A doctor will perform tests on the tissue in the lump or order a scan to find out its nature.
3. Bleeding or Discharge
Unusual bleeding and fluid discharge can signal cancer. Bleeding could indicate some internal injury. However, if you have not had an injury recently, it could be something else.
Rarely, a discharge will signal cancer. However, tests can clarify the cause of discharge or bleeding. A foul-smelling fluid occurs when cancer cells lack oxygen, and they die.
Pain is the body’s normal reaction when something is wrong with your health. Most illnesses have pain as a symptom and that includes cancer.
However, persistent pain or pain in certain areas of the body like the breast, head, and abdomen can be a symptom of cancer developing in those areas.
5. Loss of Appetite
Cancer can cause loss of appetite in patients. When you have cancer wounds in your digestive tract, you can feel full or find it hard to eat.
Also, like many other illnesses, cancer can affect your metabolism and change the way your body recognizes hunger by influencing certain hormones.
6. Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are generally side effects of cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, and other medications. They basically throw your hormones into disarray making you feel sick.
However, nausea and vomiting can also signal that you’re developing some types of cancers, especially gastrointestinal cancers.
7. Growth on The Skin
A growth on the skin can indicate cancer. While not all swellings are cancerous, it is vital to get a diagnosis. A test can help identify what kind of growth you have on your body.
Usually, a specialist will collect tissue from the growth for testing before they can tell you for sure what the growth means.
Remember, cancer isn’t necessarily a death sentence. Many people have gone ahead to live for many more years after a cancer diagnosis. With early intervention, current medical advancements can help you fight the disease.
If you have any of the above signs and symptoms, go for a checkup sooner rather than later because you can never truly know whether you have cancer or not until you’re examined.