Signs and symptoms to look out for if you want to fight this disease – and win.
The importance of detecting cancer in its early stages, before it metastasizes, can’t be emphasized enough. Especially as far as breast cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer, are concerned. Every cancer type involves a specific treatment regimen that incorporates one or more treatment options, including surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. The primary goal is usually to cure the cancer or to prolong the quality of life significantly.
Every day should be considered world cancer day.
Every year, a special day is set aside, to draw the world’s attention to the prevention and cure of cancer. The World Cancer Day campaign explores what we can all do to save lives, and make fighting cancer a priority at the highest social and political levels. World Cancer Day analyses how everyone, collectively and individually, can do their part in reducing the global burden of this dread disease. In essence, how we can all join forces and fight for a cancer-free world. We are all in a unique position to amplify the messages of World Cancer Day and we should do so each and every day.
Cancer: The symptoms
We all know what cancer is: a category of diseases that involve abnormal cell growth that can spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can cause almost any kind of symptom – it depends on the kind of cancer, its size and its stage. About 90.5 million people had cancer in the year 2015. And about 14.1 million new cases are detected each year. These statistics do not include skin cancer, apart from melanoma.
The importance of symptoms
Some cancers, when they grow, push against organs and blood vessels, causing symptoms. Others don’t show any symptoms until much later – pancreatic cancer, for instance. The sooner cancer is detected, the better the chances of a cure. A good example would be melanoma skin cancer. It’s easy enough to remove in its early stages. The 5-year survival rate is then about 98%. But, what about once its spread to other parts of the body? The rate drops to 16%. That’s a huge difference and this is only one example that shows how important it is to detect cancer, at the earliest.
Common general symptoms
- Unexplained weight loss: This is weight loss that seemingly has no reason behind it. If this type of weight loss is more than 10 pounds, it may be an early symptom of cancer
- Fever: Recurring fever tends to occur after cancer has spread. It is a symptom that your body is fighting something.
- Fatigue: Being tired all the time, even with enough sleep and rest, is a common symptom of cancer
- Pain: Bone cancer and testicular cancer cause pain in their early stages. Chronic headaches are a potential indication of brain tumors, while back pain is a symptom of colon, rectum and ovararian cancer.
- Skin changes: It isn’t just skin cancer that causes changes in the skin. Other cancers do as well. They may show up in the form of hyperpigmentation, itching, excessive hair growth, and yellow or reddened skin