Cancer is also known as malignancy. Cancer is a state of abnormal growth of cells. The cells multiply rapidly and beyond normal in number. There are many types of cancer such as breast cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, and skin cancer. Different cancer has a different set of symptoms. However, certain symptoms may overlap. Cancer can happen in any body system and affect any body parts. Cancer is the new challenge to medical professionals to study the fundamentals of each cancer, to establish methods in making diagnoses, and most importantly is to find the cure. Evident symptoms of cancer can give doctors clues in making a diagnosis and detect the underlying cause.
The following 10 examples of cancer symptoms:
- Coughing out blood
- Blood in the stool
- Lumps and bumps
- Changes in urination
- Blood in the urine
- Weight loss
- Neurological deficit
Certain cancers can be detected by doing routine self-examination. They are:
Other cancers can be silent, while some have no specific features. Detecting cancers at a very early stage is the biggest challenge. Cancer is frequently detected at a late stage. Late detection is shown poor prognosis with a low chance to recover. Self-examination in certain cancers is the initiative taken so that if they are present, we can detect early and immediate intervention that can be done.
Lung cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed globally. It is the number one cause for cancer-related deaths. There are two main groups of lung cancer. They are Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). The signs of symptoms of lung cancer are:
- Cough (50-75%)
- Coughing out blood (25-50%)
- Shortness of breath (25%)
- Chest pain (20%)
A smoker is highly at risk to develop lung cancer. The same goes for passive smokers. Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) can both present with similar symptoms. Only a few clinical features that can help in distinguishing the two of them. The investigations to detect lung cancer are:
- Full blood count
- Electrolyte analysis
- Blood calcium level
- Enzymes or biomarkers detection
- Liver function test
- Renal function test
- Chest x-ray
- Computed Tomography (CT) scan
- Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan
- Lung biopsy
- Lymph node biopsy
After a complete history taking, physical examination, and investigations, a diagnosis can be made. After a diagnosis is made, cancer should be stage. Staging of cancer will help doctors to decide the appropriate treatment plan.
Breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world. Approximately around 2 million new cases are reported each year. Breast cancer is also the leading cause of women’s death worldwide. The number of cases is highest in America and lowest in Asia and Africa. The classic feature of breast cancer is a hard and immovable mass on the breast. Sometimes, there are nipple discharge and breast inflammation.
Breast cancer can be aggressive and difficult to treat. Some cases might need surgical removal, chemotherapy, and biologic altogether. Evident symptoms of cancer can give doctors clues in making a diagnosis and detect the underlying cause for any type of cancer, especially lung and breast cancer.