Cancer or the “disease of the century,” is a dreaded disease. This malignant tumor affects more and more people around the world and results in thousands of deaths each year. Although it shows no distinct symptoms, it is possible to see signs that can reveal the presence of cancerous cells in the body. Here are 10 signs to be taken into consideration!
According to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide. In 2012, 8.2 million people died because of this disease.
Risk factors for cancer vary widely according to each type of cancer. In general, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle and smoking, remain the main causes of this malignancy worldwide.
Cancer can affect different parts of the body, but some types of cancers are more common than others. Also according to WHO data, the most common cancers in 2012 were:
- Men: lung, colon, rectum, prostate, liver and stomach cancer.
- Women: breast, cervix, stomach, colon and rectum cancer.
Some types of cancer very rarely show symptoms. Nevertheless, some signs can alert and lead to an early diagnosis.
Here are 10 alarming signs of cancer useful to know:
- Cysts or nodes
Cysts or nodes may appear on the breasts, throat, stomach or under the armpits, and can be linked to different types of cancer. It is therefore very important to regularly examine yourself to note the changes that occur in your body. If you notice an increase in the size of these nodes you have to see a specialist.
The body considers cancer as a bacterium. In this case, the immune system will attempt to defend the body, thanks to the white blood cells whose main role is to protect the body against bacteria and expel them. This increases blood flow in the cancerous region, resulting in a color change associated with itching sensations.
- Wounds that do not heal
A small injury or a slight cut that take a long time to heal, can be a telltale sign of cancer.
In the presence of cancerous cells in the body, the immune system concentrates all its efforts and resources on them in order to destroy them. That is to say that our defense mechanism prioritizes cancer rather than small scratches.
If you have sores that heal very slowly, make sure to clean them to avoid infections. It is also advisable to do a blood test as a precautionary measure.
- Lesions on the mouth
Sores or swellings that appear on the mouth, gums or throat, can suggest different health problems, ranging from a simple allergic reaction to oral cancer.
If they are whitish and particularly persistent, this sign can be alarming! Discomfort or difficulty in swallowing is also a sign of oral cancer.
- Loss of appetite
Decreased appetite can be caused by various factors, including cancer. Most cancer patients see their appetite decrease. This can be explained by changes in metabolism linked to cancer.
Loss of appetite can result in significant weight loss and malnutrition-related problems. It can also cause weakening of the immune system, which will affect the wound healing process.
- Changes in the stool
The consistency, color and odor of the stool may say a lot about the health status of each person. If you notice an unusual and persistent change in your bowel movements, it may be time to consult a doctor.
The presence of blood in the stool is one of the most common signs of colon cancer. When the tumor grows, it impedes the exit of feces, which causes bleeding on the passage.
Moreover, constant constipation, diarrhea that lasts more than two weeks or changes in the stool color can also reveal colon cancer.
- Voiding dysfunction
Urination disorders may be related to two different types of cancer: bladder and prostate.
Among the most common disorders associated with these cancers are:
- Difficulty in passing urine
- Color changes of the urine
- Blood in the urine
- Urgent and frequent need to urinate
- Unusual bleeding
Vaginal bleeding occurring outside the menstrual cycle should not be taken lightly. These are the most common signs of cervical cancer.
Bleeding from the nipple is, in turn, linked to breast cancer.
- Voice changes
If you notice a change in your voice or is hoarse for a few weeks, you may need to worry!
These signs, if persistent, can reveal laryngeal cancer. Other signs may also be associated with this type of cancer, including: discomfort when you swallow, cough or sore throat.
Cough often accompanies diseases such as colds or flu, but when it is intense and persistent, it can be a sign of cancer of the lungs, throat or esophagus. If your cough persists even if you suffer from any ailment that can cause it, consult a specialist to know the exact cause.