World Cancer Day: Warning signs of common cancers everyone should know about
- Here are some early signs of cancer that everyone should be aware of to detect cancer early.
World Cancer Day 2022: Cancer at early stage remains undetected considering the signs and symptoms of the deadly disease begin to appear only when it enters advanced stage. Many a time cancer may be detected "incidentally" by a laboratory test or X-ray. There are some early signs that everyone should be aware of to detect cancer early.
World Cancer Day 2022 is observed annually on February 4 to spread awareness and education about the disease and to prevent millions of deaths each year across the world. This year the theme of the World Cancer Day is “closing the care gap”. A lot is being done to bring quality cancer care to countries.
On the occasion of World Cancer Day, Dr Mukul Roy, Consultant Radiation & Clinical Oncologist, Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, Mumbai shares with HT Digital the warning signs of common cancers.
What is Cancer
"Cancer is an abnormal growth of cells. It may arise from any part of the body. It is made up of tiny cells that have lost the capacity to stop growing. This lump grows and has the ability to spread and involve areas other than the primary area. This growth then sticks out until it reaches a size large enough to be noticed by a patient or physician, says Dr Roy.
Here is a list of some potential cancer symptoms that one should not ignore
1. Any lump or swelling in the breast or elsewhere.
2. Any sore that does not heal.
3. Unusual bleeding or discharge.
4. Difficulty or pain in swallowing
5. Change in a wart or mole.
6. Nagging cough or hoarseness of voice, unexplained.
7. Change in bowel or bladder habits.
8. Loss of appetite and or unexplained loss of weight over a short period of time.
Cancer can affect any organ and the signs and symptoms may vary depending on the area of involvement. Here are specific signs of some common cancer.
Oral Cancer symptoms
Usually, cancers of oral cavity present as ulcer or growth in mouth or lip or tongue especially if there is a history of tobacco intake.
If the growth is in the voice box, it may present as hoarseness of voice and if it involves any part of food pipe, it may present as difficulty in eating solid food with or without associated pain.
Cervical cancer symptoms
If the cancer grows in the cervix or womb (uterus) it may present as abnormal bleeding or intermittent bleeding between periods. There may also be associated weakness due to constant blood loss and dull pain or ache in lower part of belly and or backaches. Cancer of cervix typically has symptom of bleeding after intercourse.
Lung cancer symptoms
Lung cancer may present as cough which does not resolve with any treatment, may be associated with blood-tinged sputum. It is one of the cancers which is easy to detect early and treat. Also, cigarette smoking is strongly associated with it.
Prostate cancer symptoms
Prostate cancer is also very common in elderly men and frequently present around age of 60 years with urgency and frequency of urination. Brain tumours may present with seizures, headache, visual disturbances, imbalance in walking depending on the area involved in the brain.
(Inputs form Dr Mukul Roy, Consultant Radiation & Clinical Oncologist, Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, Mumbai)