Cancer is a deadly disease that occurs when cellular changes in the body cause an uncontrollable growth and division of cells. Cells in the human body have a lifespan, new cells are created when old cells die. Cancer cells, however, do not die but proliferate and spread. The cells use the nutrients and oxygen in the body meant to nourish other cells.
Cancer can grow in any part of the body, and the name ascribed to them is often indicative of the part of the body they affect.
- Breast cancer forms in breast cells.
- Prostate cancer forms in man’s prostate.
- Testicular cancer forms in the testicle.
- Colon cancer in the colon or rectum
- Lungs cancer in the lungs. Usually caused by smoking but not exclusive to smokers.
- Leukemia forms in the blood.
- Lymphoma in the lymphatic system.
- Melanoma is a type of skin cancer.
There many causes of cancer. Some preventable and some not preventable. The most notable of the preventable causes are
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Poor nutrition
- Excess body weight
- Physical inactivity
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the leading cause of skin cancer. There are many unpreventable causes of cancer, like genetics and age. Over 70% of the world’s cancer diagnosis is of people age 50 and above.
Many cancer signs are ignorable at the early stage until it spreads and gives noticeable symptoms. It is normal to be fatigued after a day’s work or to shed some weight when you are on a diet. Here are some early signs of cancerous cells develop in the body.
It is not abnormal to be tired after a stressful day at work, and many other daily activities, persistent fatigue or a feel of not wanting to get out of bed could be an early sign of cancer. Discuss with your doctor if you are constantly feeling exhausted.
There are several causes of anemia, with cancer being one of them. Certain cancers like lymphoma and leukemia can cause the reduction of healthy red blood cells, which in turn decreases the flow of oxygen to vital parts of the body.
- Night Sweats
Occasional sweats at night are normal when the room is less ventilated. Waking up to soaked bed sheets when the room is adequately ventilated could be a sign of underlying disease. Excessive night sweats are the first sign of lymphoma. Although it could be a symptom of another disease as with many cancer symptoms, night sweats are worth sweating over as it could be the beginning of cancer.
- Persistent Cough
A normal cough that comes with a minor illness like influenza disappears after treatment. A cough that fails to heal even after the use of a regular over the counter drug might be a sign of cancer. Nagging cough is a symptom of thyroid and lung cancers.
Certain diseases like epilepsy are characterized by seizures. If you don’t have epilepsy and you’re experiencing seizures, you may have a tumor or other types of cancer.
- Bone Pains
Bone cancers are characterized by bone pains, if you feel pains in your bones without any injury, book an appointment with your doctor.
Children and seniors can experience incontinence, urinary incontinence for adults could be a symptom of prostate or bladder cancer. If you notice you are having a problem making it to the toilet, see your doctor immediately.
- Lump in the Armpit
Lump in the breast is a common sign of breast cancer, and people are less aware of the danger of lump in the armpit. Lump under the arm is associated with lymphoma and breast cancers.
- Unintended weight loss
Certain cancers like colon and throat cancers can affect appetite and digestive system resulting in weight loss. See your doctor for any significant drop in weight that is not intended.
Temporary, intermittent paralysis of some parts or all parts of the body is a sign of some tumors. Report any numbness that comes and goes to your doctor.
- Bloated belly
Bloating is a symptom common with both colon and stomach cancers.
12. Lumps in the Testicles
The most common symptom of testicular cancer is lumps in the testicles, nearly every man with testicular cancer experienced this. Men are advised to check their testicles for lumps regularly.
Presence of blood in the urine is a sign or urinary infections and kidney stones. It is also a common symptom of bladder and kidney cancers. Presence of blood in the urine should be treated with an utmost emergency.
- Sores that Won’t Heal
A common feature of sores is that they heal quickly, a sore that fails to heal with time could be a sign of cancer.
- Itching in the Anal or Genitals
Persistent itching in the anal or genitals is a common symptom of skin and genital cancers.
- Swelling of the Face and Neck
Swelling of the face and neck could be as a result of blockage of the superior vena cava known as the superior vena cava syndrome, which is a common symptom of lung cancer.
- Stomach Pains
Occasional stomach upset is normal, regular stomach trouble could be a sign of stomach cancer.
High level of calcium in the blood is a sign of the presence of cancer in the body. Breast and lung cancers are commonly associated with hypercalcemia.
Recurrent heartburn could be a sign of esophageal cancer. Report any persistent heartburn to your doctor.
- Difficulty Swallowing
Swallowing problems are associated with throat and lungs cancers. See your doctor about any swallowing problem.
Cancer is the second highest killer in the world, and scientists predict it could be number one shortly. A healthy lifestyle of good nutrition, regular exercise reduces the chance but doesn’t prevent the development of cancer. Certain habits, like smoking and excessive drinking, may cause cancer. There is no known way of preventing cancer. Anybody can have cancer!
Cancers are hardly discovered at an early stage as the symptoms could be mistaken for just an occasional fever or influenza, because of this difficulty in discovering cancer at an early stage. It is essential to pay attention to every little changes or inconvenience in the body.
Symptoms to look out for include lumps on any part of the body, weight loss, night sweats, incontinence, fatigue, and bloated belly.