These are the warning signs of cancer

Today many of us have one or the other relative suffering from cancer in our families. Like in the case of other diseases, it is important to know what exactly cancer is and how to prevent the outbreak of this disease if possible, and also its treatment.

What is cancer?

Abnormal growth of body cells is termed as cancer. Every individual has the potential to develop cancer. When programming of a single cell or groups of cells gets affected, the growth becomes uncontrollable. Chronic irritation, tobacco, age, sex, race and dust are some of the substances which can alter the codes of cells, thereby causing uncontrolled growth.

The human body is a complex machine, and though it has the ability to take on a tremendous stress, there are many times when we don’t notice the affects of these stresses. It is important for you to keep track of bodily functions, and in case there is something dramatically wrong, you must get it checked.

Photo Courtesy: Kanigas

Signs of cancer

  • Unusually high weight loss- It is fine for people to be losing weight as a result of exercise or dieting. But in case you happen to do neither of these, and still suffer from tremendous loss, it is certainly a matter of grave concern. Unexplained weight loss has been associated with cancers of the stomach and pancreas.
  • Nagging cough- With the high level of pollution in metro cities today, many people are likely to be suffering from coughs which refuse to leave. It is likely that you may be affected by seasonal allergies, but do look to get tests done as a matter of safety. Lung or larynx cancer is certainly on the cards.
  • Body lumps- Do you find lumps all across your skin? If yes, be sure to see a dermatologist. Be cautious about lumps close to the lymph nodes, breasts or testicles. However, if there are a number of lumps on the legs or arms, do not worry too much, as these are simply harmless cysts.
  • Bladder function changes- In case of pain during urination, blood in the urine or changes like suddenly having to urinate more or less often, know that these are likely to be symptoms of prostate or bladder cancer. If you notice a major change in bowel function, such as constant constipation or diarrhoea, get yourself checked for colon cancer. Knowing about it early through colonoscopy could save lives.
  • Occurrences of unusual bleeding- Abnormal bleeding commonly denotes cancer. Coughing up blood implies lung cancer, blood in the stool denotes colon cancer, regular vaginal bleeding points to cervical cancer, and blood from nipples could indicate breast cancer.

Spreading of cancer

As cancerous cells start to accumulate in the body, they form tumours. Such tumours invade tissues and organs around, leading to structural damages. At times, cancer can also spread to the lymph nodes. Cancer getting into the blood is most harmful, as it can then flow to different parts of the body like the brain, lungs, bones and brain.

Many types of cancers have been explained above.

Some others are as follows:

  • Oesophageal cancers- Tobacco and alcohol are the biggest culprits of this. Pickled foods and excessive spices, both common in India, also cause it. Vitamin C and A are considered to be retardants.
  • Oral cancers- This includes the mouth, tongue and oral cavity. Smoking and tobacco chewing causes the same.
  • Eye cancers- Intense exposure to U-V rays can cause it. Light eyed person offer suffer from melanoma.