Cancer is mainly is a group of diseases that involve abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. There are various kinds of cancers and our entire body is prone to it. However, there are many signs that can help in identifying or even understanding that there is a risk.
Here are a few early warning signals of cancer:
- If there is any change in bowel or bladder habits.
- A sore that does not heal.
- If there is unusual bleeding or discharge from any natural opening in the body.
- If there is any thickening or lump in the breast or elsewhere which may or may not be painful.
- Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing food should never be ignored.
- Please notice for any obvious change in a wart or mole in form of change in colour, size, number or if it starts bleeding.
- Any cough or hoarseness of voice which persists for more than 3 weeks.
- If you feel tired or have weight loss without any obvious reason.
- If there is disinterest in food or there is a loss of appetite.
- If you develop fever for no reason for more than 3 weeks.
If you observe any of these changes or developments you should immediately seek medical advice. Apart from this, a person can cut down the risk of cancer by half simply by making some small changes to his/her lifestyle.
- Quit smoking
- Avoid or limit alcohol
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Exercise regularly
- Be safe in the sun
- Eat smarter
- Take care of your hygiene
It is crucial not to ignore any of the above mentioned warning signals and get yourself screened regularly before you develop any of the symptoms. Together we can make a world where cancer no longer means living with fear and/or without hope.
The writer, Dr. Indu Bansal Agarwal, is a Director & Senior Consultant – Radiation Oncology at Narayana Superspeciality Hospital in Gurugram.