Although some types of cancer can be detected with early detection tests in early stages (when there are no symptoms) -such as colon , breast or cervical cancer ; for many other tumors there are no screening programs. However, we can be aware of certain warning signs that help us identify when we should go to the doctor.
It is important to keep in mind that these symptoms or signs also correspond to benign or transitory diseases, but the important thing is that if you identify any of them, you go to the doctor so that he can make a diagnosis.
1. Bulk or nodule
Although the majority of lumps or nodules are usually due to benign diseases , you should always go to the doctor to request tests and assess the causes.
2. Wounds that do not heal
Consult your doctor if you have an injury (wound or stain) that does not heal, either on the skin or on the mucosa .
3. Spots or moles that change shape or color
Remember the ABCDE rule and go to your doctor.
4. Abnormal bleeding or bleeding
Frequently, some people have a tendency to suffer minor bleeding from the gums (after tooth brushing) or nasal, without having significant clinical significance. However , if the bleeding is digestive, vaginal, it happens with cough, urine or faeces , and depending on the amount and duration, bleeding may have more important causes. In these cases it is important that the doctor diagnoses the cause and offers you treatment.
5. Changes in urinary habits
If you have trouble going to the bathroom , if you go more at night, if it hurts or burns when you urinate, if there is a decrease in the force of the jet , blood or some type of pain.
6. Changes in bowel habits
If you notice sudden changes in bowel habits (from diarrhea to constipation), black stools (melena) or some type of discomfort or difficulty appear.
7. Great weight loss without justification
If you are losing a lot of weight with no apparent explanation (no change in eating habits or physical activity), see your doctor.
8. Persistent cough or hoarseness
Coughing or hoarseness can indicate many things. If you are not going through a cold or flu and are a smoker , pay special attention to your respiratory symptoms and see your doctor if you have any questions.
9. Constant pain
Pain is a very nonspecific symptom, but there are some types of cancer that can manifest in this way. Let us pay special attention to pains of many days , which do not disappear or do not yield to treatment.
Extreme tiredness that does not decrease with rest can in some cases be associated with some type of cancer. See your doctor to study the causes.
Fever is a non-specific and very general sign. In some cases, it may be associated with some type of tumor. Whenever you have a fever it is important to quantify it (using a thermometer) and tell your doctor. Sometimes, temperature rises in the late afternoon, not too high (37-37.5º), can be an alarm sign and should be consulted.
Lower your risk
Remember that between 30% and 50% of cancer cases can be reduced with healthy lifestyles . This means that habits like being physically active, eating healthy, not smoking, and not drinking alcohol significantly decrease the risk of cancer.