Cancer is a serious disorder that can become extremely dangerous if left untreated. Knowing and detecting the early warning signs can lead you to get treatment earlier and actually save your life. Keep in mind that the early stages of cancer do not always present obvious symptoms, but signs and symptoms will get more obvious as the disease progresses.
General Early Symptoms
Some general early signs of cancer include unusual weight loss or gain, a change in appetite, nausea or vomiting, skin changes, pain in various parts of the body, a fever, or feeling tired all of the time or more often than usual.
Early Symptoms of Specific Types of Cancers
Hematology oncology is the study of cancer of the blood. Early signs of hematologic cancers are often very similar to symptoms of the flu. These symptoms can include a high fever, an aching feeling in the joints or bones, as well as chills, breaking out in sweat during the night, easy bruising or frequent bleeding, and headaches. Additionally, you might experience anemia, swelling of the lymph nodes, pain in the stomach, or an increase in the amount of infections you are being diagnosed with. Some types of cancers of the blood include leukemia, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.
Lung cancer is another common form of cancer that may present early symptoms and changes to the body you can detect. Some of these symptoms include an extremely persistent cough, chest pain, coughing up blood or finding blood in your phlegm or mucus, shortness of breath that can also include wheezing, and swelling in the facial area. Additionally, lung cancer patients may also experience headaches in the early stages of this disease.
Why is early detection important?
Detecting and diagnosing cancer in the early stages can be very beneficial for your prognosis and treatment. The more cancer progresses and the farther it spreads throughout the body makes it more difficult to send into remission. In the simplest terms, early diagnosis increases your chances of recovery and survival. For example, when it comes to lung cancer, almost 70 percent of patients are likely to live for at least a year after the initial diagnosis if it was caught in the earliest stages of the disease, compared to only 14 percent of those who were diagnosed at the later stages.
Revolutionizing Early Detection
New technology is being developed that could assist in the early detection of cancer. This is exciting news for the medical community and the entire population, in general! This new technology, known as “liquid biopsies”, would allow doctors to detect early stages of cancer just by drawing your blood. Cancer mutations are evident in tiny fragments of DNA in a patient’s blood. These tests are now being used in cancer clinics all over the world.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or just have questions, it is important to speak with your medical provider immediately.
This guest post is courtesy of Teton Oncology, practicing cancer treatment in Idaho Falls, ID with the latest techniques and a state of the art clinic to ensure the best care for patients.