Cancer is one of the deadliest diseases of this age. As such, there is an ever-increasing need to educate ourselves on how this silent killer manifests so that we can seek help.
World Cancer Day is marked on 4 February each year to raise awareness of the disease and to encourage people to check for potential signs and take preventative measures.
Symptoms are our body’s way of telling us something is wrong and when it comes to Cancer, the more we pay attention to the minutest detail, the better.
For cervical cancer, women are encouraged to take pap smear at least once a year to detect early signs of the killer disease.
Unfortunately, the procedure of detection and treatment of cancer is very expensive. Most times, suffers are left with huge financial implications in the course of treating themselves and it can also lead to death.
There are always warning signs when the body has detected a cancerous growth, here are 9 you should never overlook.
1. Change in bowel or bladder habit
A change in your bowel or bladder movement habits is one of the indicators that you might need to be checked. Although a change can occur when you change your diet, when you persistently feel you need to relieve yourself even after doing so, then you need to see your doctor as soon as possible.
2. Unexplained, significant weight loss
One of the most common presenting complaints in people with cancer is unexplained weight loss. Some people report suddenly dropping two to three clothes sizes.
Most of the time, pain happens because cancer has already spread in your body. But pain may be an early symptom of bone cancer, pancreatic cancer, or ovarian cancer. Those with brain tumors often complain of a headache that doesn’t go away.
4. Lump or thickening in the breast or elsewhere
This is one of the most common symptoms many of us know, but it is wrong to assume a lump in the breast is the only culprit. Lumps that appear on your body without explanation need to be checked out as well.
5. Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing
If after using medications for sore throat, heartburn and others that work on the throat region and you still feel the soreness, consulting your doctor may be the best thing to do. A test called the upper GI endoscopy should give your doctor an idea of what may be wrong.
6. Extreme Tiredness or Fatigue
This can be due to higher metabolic demands on the body because of the high energy requirements of cancerous cells. Extreme Tiredness or fatigue that does not get better with rest is a reason for concern. Some cancers may cause blood loss (like gastrointestinal tract cancers) which can also cause tiredness
7.Hoarseness and nagging cough
Hoarseness not caused by a respiratory infection or lasts more than a few weeks should be checked. When you also consistently cough especially with blood in it, visit your doctors to find out what may be wrong.
8. A sore that does not heal
Sores generally should heal within a short time, but when you notice one that has refused to go away, then there may be more to it. If you notice a non-healing sore in your mouth or a persistent red or white patch on your tongue, gum or tonsils, you need to be concerned.
9. Skin changes
Yellowing, darkening, or redness of the skin can signal cancer. Also, sores that don’t heal should be checked out. Additionally, moles, freckles, or warts that change in color, shape, or size could be a sign of skin cancer.
Like we said before, early detection is always key to cancer treatment, so be more vigilante. Your body might be trying to tell you something.