Causes And Symptoms: You Should Know About Cancer
Fatigue, persistent cough, recurrent pain and swollen lymph nodes are considered symptoms that may indicate cancer. “They should always be clarified,” advises Prof. Tanja Fehm, director of the University Hospital Dusseldorf. Although the cause is in most cases harmless, for example an infection. The expert explains what to look for.
The earlier a cancer is detected, the higher the chances of recovery. For complaints that last longer than four weeks, you should consult a doctor.
You should always go to the doctor if symptoms persist for more than four weeks and show no signs of improvement. This applies in particular if there is no identifiable cause for a corresponding symptomatology, such as smoker’s cough, an allergy or burnout in case of severe tiredness. Behind heartburn as a gastritis or gastroesophageal reflux disease may be stuck.
HOW IS A CANCER DIAGNOSED THEN?
In the case of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract , the diagnosis is usually made via a stomach or colonoscopy with tissue sample removal. In gynecology, suspicious cells are also examined, for example, by scraping in suspected uterine cancer or a punch biopsy in the breast: a 1.6-millimeter-thin needle is passed through the tissue at high speed, which reduces the pain. In the case of leukemia, a blood test can often be sufficient first.
DO SYMPTOMS ONLY ARISE WHEN THE TUMOR IS LARGE?
No. Not only do they arise when an ulcer grows so much that it presses on the vessels. The symptoms can also occur in small tumors. In cervical cancer , for example, they can cause bleeding during sexual intercourse. If these occur suddenly after menopause, they are a typical symptom of uterine cancer.
IS IT ALREADY TOO LATE FOR A CURE?
No, that’s not it. Even if the symptoms occur because the tumor presses on vessels, for example, and there is an advanced disease, healing is possible. In some cases, however, it is then necessary to choose a different form of therapy than if the tumor is detected early. Frequently, chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy must be combined.
DOES A KNOT MEAN THE SAME AS CANCER?
No, it can also be, for example, so-called fibroadenomas or breast cysts, which are usually harmless. Nevertheless, at every lump in the breast, a presentation should be made to the gynecologist. Often a simple diagnosis or mammography can provide a clear diagnosis. Sometimes it is also necessary to take a small tissue sample (the mentioned punch biopsy).
IS MAMMOGRAPHY USEFUL?
Yes, because it allows the early detection of easily treatable breast tumors. Mammography screening takes place between the ages of 50 and 69. Before, the mammary gland tissue is often too dense, so mammography is not meaningful enough. Nevertheless, patients with familial bias or gene mutation should participate in intensified early detection, which includes ultrasonography, magnetic resonance imaging and vaginal ultrasound at close intervals. The problem of mammography: It may come to a finding that later turns out to be harmless, but the patient until the final clarification heavily burdened psychologically.
SYMPTOMS OF DIFFERENT CANCERS
Cancer screening in gynecology mainly involves breast, cervix and uterine cancer. Symptoms such as constant tiredness, swollen lymph nodes, inexplicable coughing and heartburn can also be caused by other types of cancer. For this reason, regardless of gynecological cancer screening for such long-term symptoms, you should consult another doctor who can help clear up the symptoms, such as the family doctor, an internist, or a gastroenterologist.
Anyone can precaution with the right food to prevent the risk of cancer!
ITCHING: SKIN CANCER SIGNS
Symptoms: If moles or scaly skin spots start to itch, it should be checked by a dermatologist – it could be skin cancer behind it. However, frequent itching can also indicate a gallbladder carcinoma, leukemia or a malignant tumor of the lymphatic system.
Diagnosis: The dermatologist can look at the itchy area with a special microscope. Altered birthmarks are removed and the tissue examined in the laboratory.
HEARTBURN: INDICATOR OF PHARYNGEAL CANCER
Symptoms: If gastric contents flow back into the esophagus, it is called heartburn. Common complaints are usually the reflux disease behind it. The irritated mucous membrane can also change pathologically.
Diagnosis: The doctor gives the patient a drug that inhibits stomach acid for two weeks. If the burning disappears in the esophagus, it is the reflux disease. Whether a cancer develops, shows a tissue sample.
FATIGUE: LEUKEMIA RISK
Symptoms: Constant fatigue in spite of sufficient sleep indicates that the body is weakened – possibly cancer cells are to blame. The “fatigue” syndrome occurs in growing tumors, especially in leukemia, lymphatic and colorectal cancer .
Diagnosis: A blood test shows if other causes such as iron deficiency or thyroid disease can be excluded. Changes in the blood also expose leukemia.
COUGH: LUNG TUMOR SYMPTOM
Symptoms: If tumors block the respiratory tract, an increased coughing sensation occurs. Constant cough is one of the main symptoms in 75 percent of lung cancer patients . The cancer cells are formed mainly at the branches of the bronchi.
Diagnosis: The family doctor can refer to a specialist (pulmonologist), who does a lung scan. You may need further examinations such as magnetic resonance imaging or ultrasound.
SWELLING: LYMPH NODE CANCER
Symptoms: Swollen lymph nodes, which cause no pain, indicate a tumor called lymphoma. Especially when fatigue, high fever and unexplained weight loss are added.
Diagnosis: The family doctor must rule out an infection, for example tonsillitis . If there is a suspected lymphoma, a specialist takes a tissue sample. Affected lymph nodes may also indicate other cancers.
Pain: indication of brain tumor
Symptoms: Headache, but also other unexplained pains lasting more than four weeks, may be signs of a tumor. Alert signals for a brain tumor are headaches , especially if they increase, are not improved by pain medication and nausea and vomiting are added.
Diagnosis: If a brain tumor is suspected, a computer and a magnetic resonance tomography is made. There is a referral from the family doctor.