CONVENTIONAL APPROACH TO CANCER PREVENTION DETECTION
This approach should always be discussed with your primary care physician as to the type and regularity of screenings you should do according your age, family and health history. There are things you can do which are in your control, to help you reduce the risk of developing cancer, firstly it’s observing any bodily changes and secondly its implementing positive lifestyle changes.
- BODY OBSERVATION
Vigilance on noticing any physical changes in your body is important, then following up with your physician to determine the diagnosis. The important physical signs to watch out for include:
A lump or thickening in the breasts, testicles, or lymph nodes. Many cancers are felt directly through the skin. A lump or thickening is a warning sign and can be felt through self-examination. Your physician should be able to guide you on correct technique of self examination.
Skin changes : Not only is this indicative of potential skin cancer, various changes in the skin can be indicative for other cancers too. Signs to watch out for include: Darker looking skin, yellowish skin, excessive hair growth, changes in mole in both size and colour, freckles that change in size and colour, sores that don’t heal.
Throat and mouth problems: A persistent sore throat, cough, hoarseness, lump in the throat, difficulty swallowing may indicate cancer of the pharynx or oesophagus. Any coughing that brings up blood is an immediate indication to see a physician.
Changes in bowel habits, bladder function and digestion: Continuing urinary difficulties, constipation, chronic diarrhea, abdominal pains, rectal or urinary bleeding, or darker stools can all be signs of some malignant development happening. Additional signs of indigestion, nausea, heartburn, bloating or loss of appetite should also be investigated further.
Pain: Pain is often a sign of persistent inflammation and immune system dysfunction. Cancer is directly associated with inflammation and immune system dysfunction, therefore persistent, unexplained pain should be investigated.
Chronic Fatigue: Chronic fatigue or extreme tiredness that does not go away, even with plenty of sleep should be evaluated further. Cancer saps energy from the body as it progresses and this is commonly seen in patients with advanced stages of cancer.
Weight loss: At some point, people with cancer will experience unexpected weight loss. Losing up to 10 pounds or more for no apparent reason, can be a first sign of cancer. This happens most often with cancers of the pancreas, stomach, oesophagus or lung.
IF ANY OF THESE OBSERVATIONS ARE NOTICED PLEASE DISCUSS WITH YOUR PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN WHO CAN ADVISE THE APPROPRIATE DIAGNOSIS.