Blogs Details

Cancer Signs and Symptoms

Public Health
07-Jul-2017
Blogs Detailed

While a healthy diet can lower the risk of developing certain cancers, other factors like genes can play a larger role. Once cancer spreads, it can be difficult to treat.

As the cancer grows, it can begin to push on nearby organs, blood vessels, and nerves. This pressure causes some of the signs and symptoms of cancer. If the cancer is in a critical area, such as certain parts of the brain, even the smallest tumour can cause symptoms.

Sometimes, cancer cells release substances into the bloodstream that cause symptoms that are not usually linked to cancer. For example, some cancers of the pancreas can release substances that cause blood clots in veins of the legs. Some lung cancers make hormone-like substances that raise blood calcium levels. This affects nerves and muscles, making the person feel weak and dizzy.

 

Here are 5 general signs and symptoms of cancer:

1. Unexplained weight loss

Most people with cancer will lose weight at some point. When you lose weight for no known reason, it’s called an unexplained weight loss. An unexplained weight loss of 5 Kilogrammes or more may be the first sign of cancer. This happens most often with cancers of the pancreas, stomach, oesophagus (swallowing tube), or lung.

 

2. Persistent back pain

Back pain is a common cause of disability, only a few realise that it may be a symptom of cancer. Symptoms of cancer may not show until it has spread to other parts of your body, such as the bones of your spine. For example, prostate cancer is especially prone to spread to the bones and may cause these symptoms within your hip bones and lower back. Unlike occasional muscle pain, cancer of the bone causes tenderness and discomfort in your bones.

 

3. Fatigue

Fatigue is extreme tiredness that doesn’t get better with rest. It may be an important symptom as cancer grows. But it may happen early in some cancers, like leukaemia. Some colon or stomach cancers can cause blood loss that’s not obvious. This is another way cancer can cause fatigue.

 

4. Skin changes

Along with skin cancers, some other cancers can cause skin changes that can be seen. These signs and symptoms include: Darker looking skin (hyperpigmentation), Yellowish skin and eyes (jaundice), Reddened skin (erythema), Itching (pruritis), Excessive hair growth

 

5. White patches inside the mouth or white spots on the tongue

White patches inside the mouth and white spots on the tongue may be leukoplakia. Leukoplakia is a precancerous area that’s caused by frequent irritation. It’s often caused by smoking or other tobacco use. People who smoke pipes or use oral or spit tobacco are at high risk for leukoplakia. If it’s not treated, leukoplakia can become mouth cancer. Any long-lasting mouth changes should be checked by a doctor or dentist right away.

 

6. Indigestion or trouble swallowing

Indigestion or swallowing problems that don’t go away may be signs of cancer of the oesophagus (the swallowing tube that goes to the stomach), stomach, or pharynx (throat). But like most symptoms on this list, they are most often caused by something other than cancer.

 

7.  Lumps in the breast

Breast cancer isn’t exclusive to women. Men also need to be on guard and check for suspicious lumps in the breast area. This is the earliest detectable symptom of male breast cancer. Visit a doctor immediately for testing if you notice a lump. Genes can play a role in male breast cancer, but it may also occur due to exposure to radiation or high oestrogen levels. Breast lumps are most commonly found in men in their 60s.

 

Many cancers are difficult to detect in the earliest stages, but some may cause noticeable differences. Knowing the most common cancer symptoms is vital to obtaining a prompt diagnosis. Still, the exact signs and symptoms of cancer can vary. As a rule of thumb, you should always see your doctor if you suspect something isn’t right.
You can get in touch with our Cancer centre at 04682214400 or find us on Facebook at http://facebook.com/muthootcancercentre .

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