04 February 2019

World Cancer Day: 7 early warning signs


World Cancer Day is an international day marked on 4th February to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. World Cancer Day was founded by the Union for International Cancer Control.

Spotting cancer at an early stage saves lives. Understanding what's normal for your body means you're more likely to notice any unusual changes.

While the following symptoms are associated with several health issues and might not present any reason for concern, they are also seven early cancer warning signs you should keep an eye out for if they persist...

1.) Changes in bowel or bladder habits

A bowel disease may cause the following symptoms:

  • Blood in the stool

  • Mucous or purulent secretions

  • Spontaneous defecation

2.) A sore that does not heal

Common signs of basal cell cancers are a sore, lump, or patch of skin that itches, bleeds or develops a scab and that takes a few weeks to heal.

3.) Unusual bleeding or discharge

Unusual bleeding can happen in early or advanced cancer. Coughing up blood may be a sign of lung cancer. Blood in the stool could be a sign of colon or rectal cancer. Cancer of the cervix or the endometrium can cause abnormal vaginal bleeding.

4.) Thickening or lump in the breast or any other part of the body

Not all lumps indicate cancer, but if you have a lump and you're not sure about it, play it safe and get it checked out by your GP.

5.) Indigestion or difficulty swallowing

Indigestion can sometimes be a symptom of pancreatic cancer. Indigestion causes a painful, burning feeling in your chest, and can leave a bitter, unpleasant taste in your mouth.

6.) Obvious change in a wart or mole

Skin cancer is one of the easiest cancers to detect early, due to the presence of visible skin changes. If you discover a wart, mole, freckle or skin tag that seems to be changing colour, shape or size, speak to a professional right away.

7.) Persistent nagging cough or hoarseness

A long-lasting soreness of the throat may be a symptom of laryngeal cancer which is also associated with the following:

  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing

  • A feeling of a lump in the throat appears with the growth of the neoplasm

  • Hoarseness of speech proceeding.

Health experts have suggested that more than 40% of cancer cases could be prevented by undertaking certain lifestyle changes such as not smoking, keeping a healthy body weight, cutting back on alcohol, eating a balanced diet, keeping active, avoiding certain infections (like HPV), avoidance of radiation and staying safe in the sun.

Share this article with the hashtags #SpreadCancerAwareness and #WorldCancerDay.




Cancer Research