The foremost strategy in the war against cancer is to detect it early. When cancer is detected at the earlier stages, it is easy to remove it owing to the fact that the extent of its spread is limited. If an individual has a family member or members who have been diagnosed with cancer or if that individual has been diagnosed with a precancerous condition, it is rational for them to be vigilant about the early symptoms of cancer. There are specific ways in which this can be done and one has to consult experts for it.
It must be noted that the signs, symptoms, severity and the spread of cancer are indistinguishable from bengin or harmless diseases. Thus, it is vital for us to be cognizant of the changes affecting our body and consult a doctor for purposes of cancer screening when new symptoms appear and persist. However, there are certain caveats to this. Pancreatic cancer, for instance, cannot be identified as its symptoms are not felt until their growth propels them to press on nearby organs or spreads. This essentially signifies that the pancreatic cancer is at an advanced stage and often is incurable when they come for treatment.
Furthermore, the symptoms of cancer like fatigue or coughing can be caused by something apart from cancer. Some symptoms can seem innocuous like a cyst or a lump which might seem temporary in nature. However, no symptoms should be ignored.
Broadly speaking, there are three general methods to detect cancer which are accordingly enumerated below:
- Identifying and acting on general symptoms and signs- The general signs and symptoms of cancer include unidentified weight loss, human fatigue, bodily pain, high fever and skin changes. When an individual suddenly loses weight without any reason, it can be an early symptom of stomach, panreastic or lung cancer. Alternatively, leukemia is said to cause tiredness or fatigue. Bodily pain, on the other hand, can be an early symptom of testicular or bone cancer. Skin changes including reddened skin, persistent itching, and darker yellow skin can also be an early symptom of cancer. Painless breast lump can be first sing of breast cancer.
- Cancer Screening- Cancer screening helps us detect cancer before its symptoms appear. For instance, for the screening of breast cancer, mammography is utilized which detects lessions that are smaller than that can be felt. If you are fifty years or elder, it is recommended that you screen for the colon cancer. For the detection of cervical cancer, a pap smear is necessary. This regular screening for cancer ensures an early detection of cancer and its treatment even before symptoms start. Mostly these will be cured.
- Genetic Testing– Genetic tests are done by searching for irregular and specific changes to an individual’s alteration of genes, proteins, or chromosomes. Such changes are referred to as mutations. Genetic testing can help you detect whether or not there are certain genes in your body which can cause cacner to you, pass cancer to your offspring, predict the risk factor of a disease and provide a detailed plan to guide your health care. It is highly advisable for an individual whose family has a history of cancer or cancer-related diseases to undertake genetic testing and take adequate medications for the prevention of the same.
There are other articles in my blog which decribe these individually that you can refer to.