A couple of dear friends have recently been struck low by the Big C, one of them terminally, and Mrs Wellthisiswhatithink recently had a skin cancer removed (a near-universal affliction in Australia if you hang around here long enough), so having come across this information on the Web we thought we’d share it.
Many of the symptoms listed here can be caused by a dozen other things, other than cancer. So the message we are sending out is “if you experience these symptoms, don’t soldier on, don’t go into denial, go and see a medical professional and get checked”. With the advances in treatment for almost all kinds of cancer, early diagnosis saves lives. Maybe yours, or a loved one’s.
There are too many medical terms and descriptions in these signs for us to explain all of them. Google is your friend here.
THE COMMON SYMPTOMS OF CANCER
1. Losing weight at a rapid rate (among people not being on a diet): gasses, discomfort, digestive disorders, anorexia, recurring diarrhoea, constipation are the symptoms occurring most frequently in case of lung, stomach, kidney and large intestine cancer. If accompanied by a feeling of weakness, it can be a sign of blood loss or lack of proper elements building it.
2. Pain of unknown cause long-lasting stomach-ache can be the symptom of large intestine cancer, lumbalgia can be the sign of kidney cancer, pain in the chest can result from lung cancer. Bone aches can be caused by metastasis.
3. Haemoptysis, long-lasting hoarseness (over 3 weeks), persistent cough or change of its character can be caused by lung or larynx cancer.
4. Change in colour of moles and warts, ulceration and itching, ulceration of open wounds, burns and scalds can be the signs of skin cancer.
5. Excessive production of urine, backlog of urine, painful urinating, slow, time-consuming flow of urine, lumbago as well as backache can be the signs of prostate cancer.
6. Pain, vertigo, nausea, sight distortions (oversensitized sight, astigmatism), hearing impediment, upset balance and mental disorders can result from brain cancer.
7. Swallowing difficulties can be a symptom of throat, larynx, oesophagus and stomach cancer.
8. Feeling of fullness in epigastrium, aches and digestive disorders may be due to stomach cancer and other kinds of alimentary canal cancer, sometimes ovary cancer.
9. Blood in feces, black feces, alternating diarrhoea and constipation, mucus in feces, narrow (pencil-like) feces are the symptoms of alimentary canal cancer, especially of large intestine and rectum.
10. Blood in urine (without the symptoms of urinary tracks inflammation), dysuria (compulsive urination, difficulties in urination) can accompany the urinary tracks cancer.
11. Improper bleeding from the genital tracks, pink or dark-red vaginal discharges, hypogastrium and lower limbs ache can be the signs of vagina, uterine cervix and uterus cancer.
12. Marks on skin and mucosus membrane (lips, oral cavity, genitals): not healing ulceration, change in marks appearance, occurrence of new skin marks of some specific features (irregular distribution of pigment, vague line between the mark and healthy skin, quick growth of the marks, bleeding, dripping).
13. Breast tumour (by approximately 15% – 25% can be impalpable), ulceration, the retraction of nipple, asymmetrical nipples, change of size or the shape of a nipple, its swelling and the marks around it, enlargement of lymphatic glands in the armpit, extension of veins in the breast skin, ulceration of breast skin, shoulder swelling, flat efflorescene in case of the so called advanced inflammation nipple cancer are often the symptoms of breast cancer.
14. Fever, tiredness, bones and joints ache, inclination to temporary anaemia and bleeding, impalpable tumour of abdominal cavity, as a result of spleen enlargement, that can be detected in gastro-bowel test.
15. You start feeling exhausted and notice aches in weird places on your body.
Remember, far better to suffer the momentary embarrassment of hearing your quack say “you silly old thing, that’s nothing, take an aspirin and a day off” than to hear them say a few weeks or months later, “I’m terribly sorry, it’s cancer, and it’s advanced”.
Here is a quick selection of some Cancer Charities you may wish to consider helping, listed by country (those countries that provide our largest readership. There are hundreds more, this is just to get you started if you would like to make a donation or need advice or help. You might like also to consider remembering them in your Will. Even small donations can make a real difference, or as our old Mum used to say, “Many a mickle makes a muckle.”
www.canteen.org.au – helping youth suffering from cancer
www.kidswithcancer.org.au – supporting children with cancer and the hospitals treating them
acrf.com.au - peak cancer research body
www.nbcf.org.au – National Breast Cancer Foundation in Australia
http://canceraustralia.gov.au/affected-cancer/cancer-support-organisations – a government website pointing to hundreds of cancer charities and support organisations, with links to organisations in every state
https://donate.cancer.org/index – American Cancer Society, direct link to their donation page
http://cancerrecovery.org/ – Cancer Recovery, links a number of charities together, in the US and overseas
http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/ – National Breast Cancer Foundation, probably the most respected organisation of its type
http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/ – Cancer Research UK
http://www.braintumouruk.org.uk/ – Brain Tumour UK, specifically providing for research into brain cancer, and cash support for those suffering from the illness.
www.leukaemiacare.org.uk - provides financial assistance for those suffering from leukaemia and related blood disorders
http://www.breakthrough.org.uk/ - leading breast charity research and support group
http://www.wcrf.org/ - worldwide research and advocacy group dedicated to cancer prevention.