One of the reasons cancer is a so deadly disease is because it is, most of the times, diagnosed at advanced stages when the tumor is already very aggressive. Being aggressive or metastatic, the cancer has full control of the body, making treatment barely effective. In fact, most types of malignant tumor can be treated and cured when diagnosed at a genesis stage. It is therefore very important to know to recognize warning symptoms of cancer for a good prognosis.
There are certain warnings of malignant tumor that you should not neglect. Although these signs do not undoubtedly mean one has cancer, they are often an indication that the disease is growing in your body, and your system is telling you to take immediate action.
Here are some warning signs of cancer to take seriously:
Unusual Bleeding or Discharge – any bleeding or discharge does not necessarily mean you have cancer. For instance, kidney stones or another form of urinary tract infection can lead to blood in urine; hemorrhoids can cause blood in stool. However, blood in urine or stools can be an indicator of a urinary tract or gastrointestinal cancer. Discharge from any parts of your body – nipples, penis, vaginal, for instance, can be a response of your organism to the development of a malignant tumor. Do not neglect them.
Open and Nonhealing Sore– any wound or sore that is getting bigger, more painful, starting to bleed, or not getting better over time in spite of proper care should be considered a serious medical issue and treated by a professional immediately.
Lump in Breast or in Other Body’s Part – any visible breast lump (or invisible lump found during a breast self-exam), any lump in the scrotum when doing a self-exam, or other lumps found on the body (the neck for instance)can be the first sign of breast cancer. In fact, see your physician immediately if you have asmall lumpthat is shiny, waxy, pale in color, and smooth in texture.
Nagging Cough – lung cancer often causes a persistent cough. Therefore, you need to seek for medical care if you experience change in voice (hoarseness), cough that does not go away, or sputum with blood. Earlier a cancer is diagnosed the better is the prognosis (survival rate); it is therefore important to see your health care provider as soon as you can if you’re having any of these signs.
Change in Bowel or Bladder Habits – you need to see a health care provider if there is no change in your diet or lifestyle and suddenly realize changes in the color, consistency, size, or shape of stools (diarrhea, constipation); or presence of blood in your urine or stool. These are characteristics of gastro-intestinal and urinary tract cancers.
Obvious Change in Moles – to consider a mole as a threat, you need to consider the ABCD RULE: – Asymmetry – does the mole look the same in all parts or are there differences? Border – are the borders sharp or ragged? Color – What are the colors seen in the mole? Diameter – Is the mole bigger than a pencil eraser (6mm)?
Difficulty in Swallowing – you may have a malignant tumor if you wake up one day and suddenly realize you have a feeling of pressure in throat or chest which makes swallowing uncomfortable or difficult. In addition, any feeling full without food or with a small amount of food can be a warning of cancer.
Other Common Cancer Signs and Symptoms
In addition, here is a list of symptoms for various cancers of different parts of the body. Do not be alarmed if you are experiencing any of these symptoms; they are not always cancer symptoms. These symptoms can also be a sign of a non-cancerous (benign) disease; having any of them does not necessarily mean you have cancer.
Prostate Cancer can be characterized by:
- Painful ejaculation
- Blood in urine or semen
- Frequent need to urinate, especially at night
- Difficulty starting urination or holding back urine
- Inability to urinate which can be painful (burning urination)
- Weak or interrupted flow of urine
- Frequent pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or upper thighs.
Colon Cancer can be characterized by:
- Abnormal Weight loss
- Abdominal or pelvic pain
- Abnormal weakness or fatigue
- Blood on the stool or in the toilet water
- Diarrhea alternately with constipation
- Persistent diarrhea or constipation
- Change in the size, shape of the stool
- Excessive/unusual gas, bloating
Bladder Cancer can be characterized by:
- Presence of blood in the urine
- Painful or Burning urination
- Bladder spasms/pain
- Intense urge to urinate (urinary urgency).