The word cancer creates fear and evokes death. What are the symptoms that you should know? Here are some signs to recognize which require no medical exam, but can save your life or the life of a loved one.
This article may help you recognize some signs and push you to consult a doctor for a more complete and earlier diagnosis.
What are the signs to notice whether you or a loved one is suffering from cancer?
- Sudden and unexplained weight loss
If you (or someone close to you) loses weight for no apparent reason (without dieting), it is a worrying sign. People who are affected by cancer can lose up to 10% of their weight in very short period of time. If weight loss is not accompanied by any specific plan or no physical activity, it is not considered normal and may mean that your body is engaged in an internal battle against cancer cells, hence weight loss.
- Recurrent tiredness
Are you often tired for no apparent reason? Try alone to determine the reasons for this fatigue: your schedule, hours of sleep, etc. If your immune system is weak for no apparent reason, go to the doctor.
- Decrease in appetite
You do not even have the appetite for delicious food that you usually eat. This sign should worry you.
- Persistent fever without explanation
If you notice an increase in temperature, check it by placing the thermometer in the rectum. If it varies between 100 ° to 101 ° F for several weeks (and if other symptoms are present), consult a doctor. If the temperature falls down in a few days, there’s nothing to worry about.
- Presence of cysts
They can be located in two places: the breast and belly. Be especially careful if you notice ganglia because their size can vary and increase. Most of the time, glands are felt under the arm at the crease of the groin, but also on the neck or in the supraclavicular fossa. If the volume does not decrease, even after several weeks, you should see a doctor. If you feel pain by feeling them, it’s not cancer but surely an infection.
What are the most distinctive symptoms of 4 cases of the most common cancers?
It is recommended to conduct self-examination as regularly as possible (preferably in the shower). If you notice a presence of a ball, do not panic and wait at least two weeks (in case you are premenopausal). Indeed, the menstrual cycle can lead to hormonal changes which can have an impact on the breasts, hence the presence of small totally benign cysts. If this size does not disappear at the end of your period, see your doctor or gynecologist to perform a mammogram. Do not be alarmed: a cyst is not synonymous with cancer!
Another sign that should worry you is the appearance of breast changes abruptly with skin that retracts inwards. If your nipple has eczema lesions with inflammation and redness that can be painful to the touch of clothing, see a doctor.
Spitting blood is probably the most common symptom of lung cancer. If your voice is hoarse, you have difficulty speaking or you are unable to get rid of hiccups … It’s not a good sign. Make tests to check the condition of your lungs, regardless if you are smoking or not.
A problem with the prostate is not very obvious to detect because it is not a “visible” organ. The most common symptoms that may be considered “abnormal” are: difficulty in urination, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), blood in the urine.
Head and neck cancer
This type of cancer most often is the result of an intensive smoking and alcohol abuse (these two factors, when combined, are aggravating). This cancer affects the throat, mouth and vocal cords.
The main symptoms are:
- swallowing problems (difficulty is swallowing, eating and drinking)
- discomfort breathing
- changing the tone of voice
- sensation of a permanent tickling in the throat
- wound in the mouth (cheeks, palate, gums, tongue) that does not heal
- persistent cough that does not go away (similar to the symptoms of lung cancer)
- presence of glands in the neck
If you see several signs and symptoms mentioned here, you should seek a medical attention. Only a specialist can make an accurate diagnosis based on your symptoms.
References: cancer.org, cancerresearchuk.org, webmd.com