Cancer. The Big C. The medical ‘death sentence’. No diagnosis scares as much as cancer, which is why it is so important that you be as empowered as possible. Be reminded that if you fall into certain risk categories, please get screened. Because many cancers are asymptotic during early stages, screening and early detection gives one the best possible chance for a good outcome.
In the event that symptoms are present, it’s helpful for you to know what typical symptoms are. Courtesy of the American Cancer Society, here is a mnemonic that teaches signs and symptoms to alert you to the possibility of cancer. Think ‘CAUTION’.
- Change in bowel or bladder habits
- A sore that does not heal
- Unusual bleeding or discharge
- Thickening or lump in the breast, testicles, or elsewhere
- Indigestion or difficulty swallowing
- Obvious change in the size, color, shape, or thickness of a wart, mole, or mouth sore
- Nagging cough or hoarseness
Additional symptoms that may be suggestive include unexplained weight loss, persistent headaches, nausea, vomiting, fatigue or pain, repeated infections and fever. Given that these non-specific symptoms could be due to many other things, as a cancer consideration, typical recommendations are to get these types of symptoms evaluated if they’ve been present for more than two weeks.
Just remember, cancer is something you want to detect, not ignore. If you wait until it’s too late, then, well it’ll be too late.
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