In this article I will discuss the “Seven Warning Signals” of cancer. These symptoms and signs indicate an existing problem in our bodies. Usually, they do not indicate cancer, however, you should not be embarrassed about going to your physician.
1. Change in bowel or bladder habits: Constipation, gas pains, and rectal bleeding usually indicate an obstruction in the passage of our stools. It could be cancer of the colon or rectum. The interrupted flow of the urine, frequent urination, or difficulty to start urination more likely indicate an enlarged prostate, rather than cancer of the prostate.
2. A sore that does not heal: A sore, irregular area, lump or thickened area should be checked by a physician. A regular check-up by a physician or dentist should be performed annually or semi-annually.
3. Unusual bleeding or discharge: The early sign of cancer of the uterus is bleeding, particularly after menopause. But it is a late sign of cancer of the cervix. Fortunately, the “Pap Test” can find the earliest cancer of the cervix, when it is in its most curable stage. Blood in the stool is a major sign of colon and rectum cancer, however, many people have ignored it because they had hemorrhoids.
4. Thickening or lump in the breast or elsewhere: Early discovery of a lump by breast self examination can save four out of five women from breast cancer. Mammography and thermography are performed by a physician to detect the nature of the lump.
5. Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing: Indigestion is a symptom of cancer of the stomach. Difficulty in swallowing should be checked for cancer of the esophagus (food pipe) by your doctor.
6. Obvious change in a wart or mole: A dark brown or black mole that becomes enlarged or bleeds may indicate skin cancer “melanoma.” A dry, scaly, inflamed, pale or waxy ulcer on the skin should be checked by a physician or dermatologist.
7. Nagging cough or hoarseness: Heavy cigarette smokers usually have a “smoker’s cough,” but a cough that persists should be checked for lung cancer. Cancer of the larynx (voice box) in its early stage is curable. Unfortunately, the most common symptoms, hoarseness and a lump in the throat, have been ignored and attributed to the common cold and smoking. Many people can be saved if they listen to their bodies, heed the warning signals and get early medical attention.