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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.

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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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