Cancer is an unwanted growth of cells that destroys the healthy environment of the body. The fear associated with it is not because of the disease itself, but, because of the delayed diagnosis due to lack of clear symptoms. Here are a list of commonly ignored symptoms which could be warning signs of cancer. Cancers are PAINLESS when they start and so they get ignored by the patient and doctors alike.
Anemia: Tiredness in cancer is usually due anemia (lack of blood) and deficiency of nutrition. The cancer eats up most of nutrients in its race to grow quickly. Also there bleeding from cancer tissue that makes one anemic.
Blood while passing stool: very often this is due to piles or similar causes. However, cancer of colon and rectum also causes this. When anyone has blood in stool, it is advisable to do colonoscopy to look inside of colon. Cancer of colon can cause change in bowel habit (like alternating constipation and diarrhea)
Blood in urine: This always require further tests. Cancer of kidney or urinary bladder or prostate (among men) can cause blood in urine. The bad part is this bleeding can be infrequent. This infrequency makes patients ignore this symptom. Even one episode of blood in urine needs through examination.
Bleeding in between periods (women): Any bleeding that does not follow the usual pattern of menstrual period is a warning sign. Cancer of uterus or cervix can present with this kind of symptoms. Patients with cervical cancer also have bleeding after having sexual intercourse.
A patch or wound inside mouth: Oral or mouth cancers are common in India. These cancers start as a patch or wound and progress over months. If diagnosed early they can be treated effectively.
Lump or swelling: Cancers of breast and limb begin as painless lumps or swellings and progress over months. Any newly appearing lumps or swellings should be completely investigated.
Loss of weight without trying: A sudden weight loss when you are not dieting needs investigations. As cancer consumes most of the nutrition that you take, you tend to loose wt.
Loss of appetite and bloating food: this could be because of obstruction to bowel or because of a cancer secreting its toxic substances. Thorough examination is needed to reach a diagnosis.
Lymph node enlargement: Lymph nodes are present everywhere in the body and function as filters. Most of the times they enlarge due to infections. The cancer cells also get filtered in this nodes and are trapped. They grow in these nodes and the nodes enlarge as a result of this growth.
Trouble swallowing or vomiting after taking food are both warning signs of a cancers in the digestive tract. These need to be evaluated with endoscopic tests to identify the cause. Some patients have only persistent heart-burns which is misdiagnosed as gastritis and treated only for months before correct diagnosis reveals itself.
Pain is the last feature of cancer. Do not wait for it.