Monday, January 11, 2010

Cancer Symptoms, Signs - All 15 Of Them
Evethough I'm young and still 20, I'm always paranoid about my health issues since my last experience with bacterial infection (not a nice one). xD

I practise more hygiene -wash hands before touching that KFC, use sterilizer, disinfected my brushes and make up ones, clean my nails more - even toenails!

Cancer symptoms, I don't really know except for the skin part (I study beauty remember?) like abnormal growth, discoloration, bumps, melanoma, etc etc. Others? What about ovaries? Lungs? Mouth? Eyes? Hair (is there such thing?)? I don't have a clue!

This post is about Common Cancer Warning Signs Women Often Overlook. Never take for granted that sudden loss of weight you just got -I know, it's exciting to lose weight in a big scale, but beware, for you may scare~ Muhuahuahuahua~ **Goosebump music playin in the background. interviewed Mary Daly, MD, Oncologist (diagnoses cancer in patients) and head of the department (wow!) of clinical genetics at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia for this post.

Unexplained Weight Loss
Unexplained weight loss -10 pounds (4.5kg) in a month without an increase in exercise or a decrease in diet should be checked out, Mary says.

"Unexplained weight loss is cancer unless proven not," she says. It could, of course, turn out to be another condition, such as an overactive thyroid.

What to do: Expect your doctor to run tests to check the thyroid and perhaps order a CT scan of different organs. The doctor needs to "rule out the possibilities, one by one," she says.

This common thingy that we probably have everyday, could be ovarian cancer. Other symptoms of ovarian cancer include abdominal pain or pelvic pain, feeling full quickly eventhough you haven't eaten much or it could be urinary problems.

What to do -bloating occurs almost every day and persists for more than a few weeks: Consult your physician. Expect your doctor to take a careful history and order a CT scan and blood tests, among others.

Breast Changes
Redness and thickening of the skin on the breast (may indicate a very rare but aggressive form of breast cancer), inflammatory breast cancer, also needs to be examined. "If you have a rash that persists over weeks, you have to get it evaluated," Mary says.

What to do -If the nipple changes in appearance or discharges (and you're not breastfeeding): see your doctor.

"If it's outgoing normally and turns in," she says, that's not a good sign. "If your nipples are inverted chronically, no big deal."
Careful here!

What to do -Breast changes: Expect your doctor to take a careful history, examine the breast, and order test such as a mammogram, ultrasound, MRI, and perhaps a biopsy. Wow that's a lot of radiation... =(

Bleeding between periods or other unusual bleeding
If you never spot or you bleed after menopause, it could be a symptom of endometrial cancer. GI bleeding could be a symptom of colorectal cancer.

"If a woman never spots [between periods] and she spots, it's abnormal for her. For someone else, it might not be." -Debbie Saslow, PhD, director of breast and gynecologic cancer at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta.

What to do: Your doctor will take a careful history and, depending on the timing of the bleeding and other symptoms, probably order an ultrasound or biopsy.

Skin Changes
Oh I know this one. =) Changes in moles are the most common thing to look for spotting skin cancer right? Don't forget the changes in skin pigmentation!

What to do: See a doctor about the changes in several weeks. Observe the changes.

Difficulty Swallowing
"It could be a sign of a GI cancer, such as in the esophagus,
says Leonard Lichtenfeld, MD, deputy chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.

What to do: Take a history and order tests such as a chest X-ray or exams of the GI tract.

Blood in the Wrong Place
If you notice blood in your urine or your stool or even the toilet bowl, don’t assume it's from a hemorrhoid or menses. It could be colon cancer, bladder or kidney cancer.

Coughing up blood should be evaluated, too. (Gee I'd say it's a must!)

"One occasion of blood in the wrong place
may not point to anything," Mishori says..

..but if it happens more than once, go see your doctor.

What to do: Expect your doctor to ask questions and perhaps order testing such as a colonoscopy, an exam of the colon to look for cancer.

Gnawing Abdominal Pain and Depression
Some researchers have found a link between depression and pancreatic cancer, but it's a poorly understood connection. I'd go to a doctor if I have it all of a sudden.

Indigestion, even in pregnant women! It could be an early clue to cancer of the esophagus, stomach, or throat.

What to do: Expect your doctor to take a careful history and ask questions about the indigestion before deciding which tests to order, if any.

Mouth Changes **Smoker alert!
Smokers should be especially alert for any white patches inside the mouth or white spots on the tongue (double eeeww!).

Possibility: a precancerous condition called leukoplakia that can progress to oral cancer.

What to do: Ask your dentist or doctor to take a look and decide what should be done next.

Pain that persists and is unexplained needs to be checked out.

What to do: Expect your physician to take a careful history, and based on that information decide what further testing, if any, is needed.

Changes in the Lymph Nodes
If you notice a lump or swelling (gets bigger and bigger!) anywhere, prepare to worry!

What to do: Your doctor will examine you and figure out any associated issues (such as infection) that could explain the lymph node enlargement. If there are none, your doctor will typically order a biopsy.

Unexplainable fever
Fevers more often occur after cancer has spread from its original site, but it can also point to early blood cancers such as leukemia or lymphoma.

What to do: Expect your doctor to conduct a careful physical exam and take a medical history, and then order tests such as a chest X-ray, CT scan, MRI, or other tests, depending on the findings.

Fatigue could point to cancer as well as a host of other problems. It may also occur early in certain cancers, such as leukemia or with some colon or stomach cancers -American Cancer Society.

Persistent Cough **Smoker alert!
A very prolonged cough (more than three or four weeks).

What to do: You would expect your doctor to take a careful history, examine your throat, check out your lung functioning and perhaps order X-rays, especially if you are a smoker.

Shine on,


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