Significant time and resources have been poured into research for finding cures for various diseases, namely cancer. Cancer, in particular, is a hard problem because it’s so nuanced, multifaceted, and extremely complex. It seems to keep evolving along with our understanding of it (which is little).
We are starting to get smarter and focus more on preventive medicine (and pathology).
Pathology is the science of the causes and effects of diseases.
In most cases, we can significantly lower the rate of cancer by controlling the risk factors and minimizing their effect, as well as undergoing screening and detecting cancer in its early stages.
Most malignant tumors can be treated successfully if detected early.
A metastatic tumor (a tumor that has spread to other areas of the body from its primary location), is far more complex to treat and has a poor prognosis.
Timely diagnosis of non-invasive cancer types makes it possible to limit the treatment to a relatively small procedure, thereby preserving the affected organ and preventing side effects of systemic treatment.
For example, screening for colorectal and cervical cancer and removing any premalignant lesions that appear will most likely prevent these cancers from occurring, as well as careful monitoring of any benign (non-cancerous) mass or particular health conditions.
If we pay close enough attention, our body will tell us when there’s something wrong. It also helps when we educate ourselves to learn the body’s language and signs when it is trying to communicate with us.
Here are some critical signs to be aware of for early cancer detection:
1. Loss of appetite
Everything which inhibits the digestive process is of concern, as it impairs the body’s ability to take nutrients from the food you consume.
2. Lasting changes in your stool
Every change to your stool which lasts longer than 2 days can signify that something is wrong with your body.
3. Excessive itching
The body classifies cancer as bacteria, and the immune system is fighting it with white blood cells. This as a result leads to an increased blood flow in the areas where cancer cells are progressing, which causes skin itching.
4. Urination changes suddenly
If your urine is all of a sudden foamy, bloody and with a strange odor and color, you need to perform a checkup.
Larynx cancer can often be affected an individual’s voice, so if you notice any weird changes, contact a medical expert.
6. Slow to heal
Another common sign of cancer is wounds that heal slowly, as cancer is taken as a priority by the immune system and the defenses focus on cancer instead of the wound.
7. Random coughing when not sick
Most cancer types cause a persistent cough, so if you’re coughing badly more than 2-3 weeks, it is time for a checkup.
8. Bleeding in-between period
If you’re bleeding in-between your period, then you immediately need to visit a doctor.
9. Lumps in the mouth or tongue
White colored bumps on your gums inside your mouth or your throat are another sign of cancer so consult with a doctor.
10. Lumps under surface of skin
If the surface of some area of your body is looking like a bump, then it could signify the development of a tumor under the skin.
Here’s a great video on the future of early cancer detection:
Image Credits: Flickr