Early Signs of Cancer – What To Look For

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With more finesse in medical and technological advancements, we have exposed our species and the ecosystem to great health hazards. Over the last 100 years, we have seen a significant threat to human health, which is the risk of cancer.

Our bodies are constantly evolving and modifying themselves to keep up with and adapt to the ever-changing environment, which is now evolving at a much faster rate. During this evolution process, a few mutations might be enough to change the DNA structure of your cells, leading to an anomalous and tumorous growth of cells, putting you at a risk of cancer development.

Causes of Cancer

Cancer is a multifactorial disease that can develop at any stage of life. The development of cancer takes place due to gene mutation in some cells. Gene mutation can be of two types:

1. Hereditary mutations that are present in all the cells of a newborn, and remains present throughout one’s life. This kind of mutation comes from the parent germ cells. If either one of the parents has mutated genes in their sex cells, it is likely to pass into the newly forming embryo.

Hereditary mutations can increase the risk of cancer because gene mutation is prevalent in a family. This can cause cancer of breast, colorectal, prostate and blood cancer (leukemia).

2. Acquired mutations can develop at any particular stage of life. Most environmental factors are likely to be responsible for developing cancer.

Acquired gene mutations tend to occur due to the following reasons:

• Over exposure to the sun and ultra-violet radiation might lead to Melanoma or skin cancer.
• Over exposure to tanning beds can cause skin cancer
• Inhaling products with tobacco in them leads to cancer of lungs, throat or mouth.
• Over exposure to X-ray radiations might lead to bone cancer or brain cancer
• Excessive alcohol consumption leads to breast cancer, liver cancer, and colorectal cancer.
• Exposing one’s body to harsh, carcinogenic substances
• Exposure to radiation

Statistical trends suggest that more than 5,75000 individuals die from developing some cancer at one point in their lives. Even more people, almost 1.5 million are at a risk of acquiring cancer.

It is better for you to be aware of cancer signs and symptoms that can be easily self-diagnosed. If you are aware of a prior family history of cancer development, then you might need to look out for these following signs.

• Irregular bowel habits (symptoms of colorectal cancer)
• Nausea
• Consistent fatigue
• Sudden weight loss
• Blood being discharged in urine (Bladder cancer sign)
• Severe migraines
• Formation of lumps (in case of breast cancer)
• Peculiar looking moles and warts on skin (indication of skin cancer)
• Coughing blood
• Aggravating body sores (another skin cancer sign and symptom)
• Lumps in testicles (a sign of prostate cancer)

Cancer is not limited to a single part of a body; it can quickly disperse to other body parts and organs. Therefore, various therapies are used in hospitals worldwide to treat different types of cancers. These treatments can range from chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hormone therapy, immunotherapy and even surgery to remove the tumorous growth.

Oncologists suggest that treating cancer in its early stages is quite manageable, while those who are diagnosed in last stages of battling cancer are most difficult cases to treat. Therefore, the public should be aware of cancer signs and symptoms for early diagnosis and appropriate treatment.