There are as many different possible warning signs, as there are different types of cancers; here are some possible symptoms; this is by no means, a complete listing of symptoms. Consult your physician anytime you experience any unusual symptoms.
- Bladder and Kidney: You may see blood in urine, have pain or burning, and increased urination.
- Breast: Lump or thickening of lumps, itching, redness or soreness of the nipples which isn't caused by pregnancy, breast feeding, or menstruation.
- Cervical, Endometrial, and Uterine: Bleeding between menstrual cycles, any unusual discharge, painful menstruation, and heavy periods require consultation with your physician.
- Colon: Rectal bleeding, blood in your stool or changes in bowel habits such as persistent diarrhea and or constipation are warning signs which should be investigated promptly.
- Laryngeal: A persistent cough or a hoarse throat are possible signs you may experience.
- Leukemia:Paleness, fatigue, weight loss, repeated infections, nosebleeds, bone or joint pain, and easy bruising are possible warning signs of Leukemia which should be investigated.
- Lung: A persistent cough; sputum with blood; heavy chest and or chest pain.
- Lymphoma: Enlarged, rubbery lymph nodes, itchy skin, night sweats, unexplained fever and weight loss indicate possible Lymphoma, discuss these symptoms with your physician.
- Mouth and Throat: Any chronic ulcer (sore) of the mouth, tongue or throat which doesn't heal, or white areas in the mouth should be seen by your physician.
- Ovarian: Unfortunately there are often no symptoms until it's in the later stages of development.
- Pancreas: There usually are no symptoms until it has progressed to the later stages when you may notice jaundiced skin and there may be pain deep in the stomach or back.
- Skin: If you have moles that change color, size, or appearance, or flat sores (lesions that look like moles), a tumor or lump under the skin that resembles a wart or an ulceration that never heals, these are symptoms which should bring you quickly to your physicians office.
- Stomach: Vomiting blood or experiencing frequent indigestion and pain after eating, weight loss may indicate stomach cancer... see your physician!
Cancer deaths are decreasing for the first time since the early 1990's; the rate has decreased with 153,000 people dying from cancer in 1996, compared with about 158,000 earlier this decade, according to a December 31, 1997, Daily Telegraph London report. Most of the decrease (about 2/3) can be attributed to less lung cancer in men; however, womens' lung cancer rate is on the rise making it more important than ever for women to quit smoking. However, malignant meloma (skin cancer) is on the rise; use your sunscreen! The decrease is also due in large part, to a decrease in breast cancer thanks to early diagnosis and mammography screening.
Cancer prevention is a life- long commitment to a long- life of healthy living and it's never too late to start. Make a healthy lifestyle a part of your New Years resolutions so you will be here to celebrate many more long and Happy New Years' with a New You!
Next week: Cancer: Part Two- Diagnosis & Treatment