Cancer is a devastating illness. Cancer is an uncontrolled growth of cells that affects the normal functioning of other cells and tissues. The Cancer cells are immature cells which do not have any functional value; however, they compete for and consume most nutrients, depriving the healthy, functional cells of energy. This growth can occupy more space in the body, exerting pressure on the nearby organs, nerves, and blood vessels, leading to complications.

8 signs_cancer

Cancer is of two types, namely the benign tumour and malignant form. The benign form is confined to only one place, whereas, a malignant form spreads to the other tissues and organs of the body.

Like any other chronic illness, cancer risk can be minimized; cancer can be treated, if diagnosed early, and symptoms can be managed with various treatment modalities.

Cancer is a major health concern, affecting the normal life of an individual. Smoking and chewing of tobacco have turned out to be the most common risk factors associated with cancer. The most common types of cancer among men is oral cancer, while in women it is breast cancer.

Cancer is curable and it can be conquered. Early detection can facilitate prompt treatment. There are common signs and symptoms of cancer, which if detected early, can save lives and improve survival.

Signs And Symptoms That Indicate Cancer:

Unusual Bleeding And Blood Loss 

Any unusual bleeding and discharge of blood from the urine, stools or vomiting of blood while coughing and discharge of blood between menstrual periods should be taken seriously. The discharge of blood may be a sign of either cancer of bladder or colorectal, lung or cervical cancer respectively.

Change In Urine And Bowel Habits

Painful urination with difficulty in maintaining urine consistency and frequent urination during the night may be a sign of either prostate or bladder cancer. Any changes in the bowel, with a feeling of stomach pain, bloating, diarrhoea or constipation, a feeling of heaviness even after going to the toilet can be a sign of colon cancer.

A Non-Healing Sore

A sore that does not heal for a long period of time, becomes painful and develops into an ulcer, might be a sign of skin or oral cancer.

Nagging And Persistent Cough

A persistent dry cough with hoarseness lasting for more than 3 weeks may be a sign of lung, larynx or thyroid cancer.

Decreased Weight

A loss of appetite and weight loss of approximately about 10 pounds, due to unknown reasons, could be a sign of pancreas, stomach, oesophagus and lung cancer. Also Read: Lung Cancer: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Obvious And Sudden Change In A Mole Or Wart

A sudden appearance or disappearance of a mole or an increased size of a mole or a wart greater the 7mm size may be a sign of skin cancer or melanoma.

Indigestion And Difficulty In Food Intake

A person finding it difficult to swallow food and experiencing indigestion, finding it difficult in maintaining pressure in the throat and stomach may be a sign of throat, oesophagus or stomach cancer.

Thickened Lump

A thickened lump formation or a sudden increase in the size of the lump in any part of the body may be a sign of cancer of the lymph nodes, breast, testicles, or soft tissues.

The 8 signs and symptoms when detected and diagnosed at an early stage reduces the risk of complications related to cancer.  Every person should be aware of theses signs and symptoms so that they can seek medical attention when in doubt.

Needless to say, cancer is one of the most dangerous diseases, wherein quite often the onset goes unnoticed, as prominent symptoms and pain appear only in the advanced stages of the illness, be it lung cancer, breast cancer or tumour growths in any other organ. Also Read: Breast Cancer: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

And although cancer treatment has witnessed some significant success and medical advancements in the past few decades, it is far better to keep the lethal disorder at bay than having to go through the ordeal of painful, invasive surgeries, to recover from cancer.

In this regard, some basic daily and lifestyle habits, when adhered to regularly, go a long way in lowering the risk of cancer in a person and help in preventing the very harmful ailment.

5 Effective Ways To Prevent Cancer:
cancer prevention

Follow A Balanced Diet

Eating foods rich in essential nutrients like complex carbohydrates, dietary fibres, unsaturated fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals ensures optimal metabolism, besides maintaining normal functioning of vital organs in the body, namely, heart, brain, stomach, liver and kidneys. Steer clear of processed snacks and meat products which are high in salt, refined sugar and synthetic additives, aside from curtailing intake of alcohol, to develop normal body weight and avert obesity, which is a high-risk factor for several cancers.

Avoid Tobacco Consumption

Smoking, chewing or inhaling tobacco products causes grave damage not only to the lungs but also other crucial organ systems of the pancreas, cervix, kidney, liver and throat. Moreover, not only is tobacco a toxic addiction to the person smoking, but also to the people nearby, as exposure to second-hand smoke also results in developing cancer. Quitting tobacco is highly recommended by doctors worldwide to decrease the chances of obtaining cancer later on in life.

Exercise Every Day

Working out for merely 30 minutes daily or even just venturing out in the early morning for a brisk walk or jog in the neighbourhood confers significant benefits for overall health, besides reducing the risk of cancer. Regular physical activity guarantees healthy body weight, promoted muscle strength and stamina, balanced hormonal levels, as well as smooth digestion processes, normal detoxification for healthy liver and kidneys, proper bowel and bladder function.

Go For Regular Health Check-Ups

Apart from performing self-exams of the body, particularly after crossing the age of 40, healthcare experts also strongly advise people right from their 20’s till the 80’s to visit a doctor for routine medical examinations. Enquiring of the individual’s medical history, as well as their family’s health patterns, helps medical professional assess the risk of cancer early on, as several cancers are hereditary and can be passed on from parents or grandparents to children.

Stay Away From Harsh Sunlight

The detrimental UV-A and UV-B rays from the sun are the leading cause of skin cancer including basal cell carcinoma, which is one of the most common forms of tumour that develops in younger people, as well as older adults. Physicians and cancer specialists strictly caution people from stepping out during mid-day, between 11 am and 4 pm, when the sun’s rays are the most destructive. Furthermore, steering clear of tanning beds, where people get exposed to UV light also vastly lowers the risk of acquiring skin cancers.