early symptoms of cancer

Timing is an essential element in our efforts to pursue any objective. The often-repeated adage that action delayed is action denied holds by the fullest sense of the phrase in every aspect of our lives whether personal, financial, professional, and more relevantly, our health. During the grind of our daily commitments, we tend to be more naturally inclined to the first three spheres, while health is always accorded a low priority.

In the process, we often choose to ignore symptoms that our bodies throw up from time to time. At times these symptoms disappear on their own, while at many a time, they may indicate something more serious, i.e. nesting of cancer cells in our system. According to a new study by Cancer Research in the U.K., a majority of adults have been exposed to signals from their bodies that could mean cancer. Only a minuscule percent of them believed cancer could be a possible cause.

A few cancer symptoms which should not be ignored are brought out below :

Unexpected Weight Loss – It is a matter of delight for all to experience weight loss without putting in any conscious effort. But what is not known to most people that this could be a symptom of cancer unless of course, the loss of weight is caused by a hyperactive thyroid gland? Hence, any increase or decrease in weight loss which is unintentional, should not be ignored.

Bloating – We have reconciled to the fact of bloating by attributing it to being a common and normal phenomenon. However, if it continues for a relatively long time span, then it merits attention. Other associated symptoms like urinary problems, pain in the pelvic region as well as the feeling of being full without having eaten much, can be a symptom of ovarian cancer.

Changes in the Breast – Due to increased breast cancer awareness, many women have learned the method of self-examination of the breast.  Normally, lumps are a most sought-after symptom but are informed that this is not the only symptom. Redness and thickening of the breast skin should also not be ignored at any cost as well. Any persistent rash over the course of time will need medical attention and advice. Discharge from the nipple even if a woman is not breastfeeding,  can be an indication of cancer of the mammary glands.

Continuous bleeding – This can be experienced by both, men and women. Any unusual or Irregular bleeding should never be ignored. Unfortunately, mainly due to ignorance, many premenopausal women tend to ignore this which can be a symptom of uterine, endometrial, or colorectal cancer. This merits immediate medical attention. Further, rectal bleeding with dark blood is reason enough should be enough to visit the doctor.

Discomfort while Eating – Another common form of cancer is oesophagal cancer. The most common symptom is when a person experiences difficulty or discomfort while swallowing food. Any persistence of this should be followed up by a thorough check-up or as advised by a doctor.

Enlargement of Lymphs – Though swellings in the neck are fairly common when suffering from a viral infection, any enlargement in the lymph nodes on the neck or in the armpits persisting for over a month, should merit medical attention. Moreover, neck growth can also be a sign of blood cancer and lymphoma. A thorough examination by a specialist is a must to rule out anything.

Skin changes – Any change in the size, shape, or colour of a mole or other spot on your skin, is reason enough to visit the doctor at the earliest. Spots that are new or look different are significant signs of cancer.

Fatigue – Many types of cancer induce bone-deep tiredness that can never be got over with despite any quantum of rest one may indulge in. It is not the same as we may feel after a lot of activity. Persistence of fatigue which interferes with our sm daily routine is cause enough to seek medical advice. It is seen that more often than not, fatigue occurs in the early stages of cancer due to internal bleeding. The initial sign could be fatigue and exhaustion, as well as shortness of breath, palpitations, and ankle swelling.

Early detection of cancer can be hugely instrumental in increasing the chances of full recovery thereby enhancing survival.

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