Growing up, cancer was that dreadful diagnosis some old people get but recently that idea has been completely discarded because more and more young people are getting cancer and dying from it. In the last year alone, I have had a few close to home experience with young people that I know so well being diagnosed with and dying of cancer as well as those I have come across by virtue of my profession; I can never tell what has changed, is it that I am growing older or that it is happening more in younger people? I think the answer is that both are true!
Credit: Healthwatch Halton
This article is not meant to create fear; on the contrary, my aim is to increase our awareness and empower us so that together we can beat cancer. There are no proven ways to prevent cancer but we can certainly reduce our risk of getting it and should symptoms that causes us to worry about even a remote possibility of cancer develop, we can recognise it and seek help early enough so that it is picked up at an early stage when treatment is likely to be more effective: many cancers can be cured or controlled if caught early on.
There are over 200 types of cancer which can cause a number of different symptoms. More often than not, these symptoms are not cancer but it is far better to get it checked out and be safe so that if it is one can get early treatment to have a better chance of survival.
Credit:John Hopkins medicine
Look closer, talk sooner!
It is important to know your body and recognise any changes and to get advice about whether they might be serious. I am going to try to summarise the symptoms that should make us see our Doctors to get checked and be safe.
I will be talking about possible symptoms of the most common cancers and some general non-specific symptoms that is worth checking out.
Credit: The times
Repeated chest infections
Ache in the chest
Coughing up blood
Blood in poo * piles or anal fissure can cause this too!
Change in bowel habit (usually towards persistent looser stools)
Lump in tummy
Persistent pain the tummy
Lump or thickening in breast tissue (most are not cancerous)
Changes in breast size, shape or skin
Nipple and areola changes
Discharge from either nipple
A lump or swelling in either armpit
Persistent pain or discomfort in either breast (though more commonly caused by hormonal fluctuations during the monthly cycle)
Credit :NHS UK
Problems passing urine
Blood in urine or semen
*Lumps or changes in testicles for testicular cancer
Unusual lumps and sores.
A non-healing sore or ulcer
A spot or sore that continues to itch, hurt, scab, crust or bleed
New pigmentation in skin or nails or new changes in skin
Other symptoms that should get us seeking help.
*Persistent bloating in females can be a symptom of ovarian cancer
*Persistent heartburn, nausea, acid taste in mouth bloating can be a symptom of cancer of the stomach
*Unintentional weight loss and persistent tiredness can warn one of cancer lurking somewhere
*Irregular or prolonged periods, darkish blood /clots or bleeding after the menopause can be a symptom of endometrial cancer
* Bleeding during or after sex or persistent vaginal discharge can be a symptom of cervical cancer
*Persistent pain going to the back could be a symptom of pancreatic cancer
*Passing blood in your urine could be a symptom of bladder or kidney cancer
Like I said earlier all these symptoms don’t necessarily mean it is cancer and most often than not it won’t be but we should not bury our head in the sand if any of these symptoms develop.
For those that have access to cancer screening programmes it is important to attend invites for screening eg faecal occult blood for bowel cancer , cervical smears for cervical cancer, and mammograms for breast cancer.
Please let’s be clear on cancer.
TOGETHER WE WILL BEAT CANCER!
P.S : Like cancer, chronic diseases such as Hypertension, Diabetes, Kidney disease, Lung disease, Heart disease are now commonly seen in the younger age groups. These conditions if undetected silently cause damage over a long period. If you are in the UK, not eligible for NHS checks and would like a full health check please feel free to contact me: Info@healthtalkwithwithadeola.com