You want to better understand what cancer is. Perhaps you are a patient, someone in your area has cancer or you are afraid that you have cancer yourself. Here you will be explained step by step what cancer is and why cancer can be life threatening. A better understanding of the disease prevents many misunderstandings and makes the conversation with family members and doctors easier.

One thing is clear: scientific research remains necessary to win the battle against cancer. But if the cancer is detected at an early stage then there is a chance of complete healing. When there are metastases, it is more difficult to predict what life expectancy is. Your doctor or specialists like Akinfemi Akingboye will inform you honestly about your illness and about what you can expect from the treatment.

Symptoms in cancer

It is often not easy to distinguish between innocent symptoms and signs where the risk of cancer is clearly increased. Some people have a much greater body sensitivity than others and some also worry much earlier. A symptom such as pain can also be strengthened by fear, so that the pain can increase again. Pain is otherwise an early symptom of cancer. Here is a list of symptoms that may indicate cancer.

  • Unexplained weight change: Weight loss with a stable eating and exercise pattern indicates more energy consumption. It can be a symptom of a growing cancer. In that case, there is often an overall feeling of weakness and non-well-being, but this is not always present. See also the chapter malnutrition.
  • Blood loss that is not based on an injury or wound (trauma): The blood can basically come from any body opening, but blood loss from the vagina, anus and urethra is the most common. Loss of blood from the lungs (in coughed up mucus) must always be properly selected. Anal blood loss often relies on hemorrhoids, but not always. Often blood from the intestines turns black in the stool.
  • Unexplained fever: Fever usually occurs with infections. But it can also be a sign that the recovery systems in the body are busy. Especially nocturnal fever attacks occur in cancer, especially in tumors of the lymph system.
  • Swellings that do not disappear again after some time: This mainly concerns bumps in breasts and testicles, but also longer swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpits and groin can be the first sign of cancer.
  • Coughing and hoarseness that are not over after six weeks: When one of these complaints exists and does not want to be less, it is advisable to have the GP assess whether there is an infection, or that there is possibly more to it.
  • New and changing moles: When a birthmark begins to grow or itch, bleeds quickly, changes color or produces outgrowths, it may indicate a melanoma. Sores that do not want to heal and often have a kind of crater can be the first sign of a skin cancer.
  • Swallowing or passage complaints: More difficult swallowing or longer-standing pain when swallowing, as well as the feeling that the food does not want to sag (passage complaints), can be a result of a swelling in the throat or esophagus that can rest on cancer.
  • Change of stool pattern: Of course, a person sometimes diarrhea, but that is almost always temporary. Most people have a fairly fixed and regular relief pattern. When this changes and remains changed, it can be a reason to examine the intestines. Also delay of the stool pattern can be due to cancer, due to narrowing of the intestine. Such a changed relief pattern may be associated with blood loss or black stools.
  • Plasma problems in men: When men grow older, the prostate usually grows, causing the radius to become smaller when urinating and sometimes causing drips. This is often based on benign prostate enlargement. But it can also be a first sign of prostate cancer. This also applies to blood admixture in the urine.
  • Swelling and bumps on the skin: By far the most weird spots on the skin are innocent. However, if such a spot grows or itches and flaking or bleeding occurs, this may indicate a beginning skin cancer.

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