16 November 2005

Early warning signs of cancer

Vigilance and immediate action can save your life, as early diagnosis and treatment can save your life if you have developed cancer.

There are so many different types of cancer of which quite a few have almost no warning signs. There are others, though, that have very specific warning signs.

Many people are frightened of getting a final diagnosis and avoid the doctor for this reason. The sooner a diagnosis is made, the sooner treatment can begin and the greater the chances if recovery and survival.

Watch out for:

  • Growths or tumours are often early warning signs and should be checked out immediately, as time is of the essence. Internal tumours can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including exhaustion and localised pain.
  • If either or both of your parents developed cancer, you should be extremely vigilant. Don’t ignore any early warning signs, as quick action could save your life.
  • An unexplained change in how your body functions could also be a warning sign. Sudden headaches, unexplained blood in your stools or localized discomfort in a particular spot over a number of days, and a mole that changes shape or colour, are all symptoms that need medical attention. Have it checked out as a false alarm is always preferable to traumatic and invasive intervention.
(Susan Erasmus, Health24)

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