For many of us, the big c is one of our greatest fears. You probably know at least one person who has suffered from some form of cancer, and it’s enough to strike a cold chill of fear into the hardiest of hearts. While it’s not good to panic or become desperately worried about every little health niggle, knowing the signs that could mean that cancer is on the horizon can help you to protect your health – and may even save your life.
Fortunately, rates of lung cancer are steadily decreasing. In the UK, for example, the number of incidences of the disease has decreased by 14% since the 1970s, according to Cancer Research. This is likely to be at least partly due to the fact that less people are smoking, but it would be a mistake to assume that only smokers are susceptible to lung cancer.
There are a number of key symptoms that could indicate you need to see your doctor regarding a possible risk of lung cancer. If you have a cough that has lasted for a long time, as in several weeks or months, and that has worsened over time, you need to get yourself checked out. It’s also important to visit a medical professional if you find blood in your spit after coughing, you’ve been experiencing chest pain that is made worse by taking deep breaths, you’ve lost weight for no obvious reason, or you feel exhausted with trouble breathing.
Approximately 90% of people who are diagnosed with colorectal cancer recover from the illness after being treated. This underlines the importance of being vigilant about any potential signs that you are suffering from this disease, as well as how important it is to get early treatment for colorectal cancer. The main thing to look out for is obvious changes in how you do a number two: such as the onset of constipation or diarrhoea, or a combination of the two. Finding blood in your poo and experiencing a bloated tummy that is sore or crampy can also be early signs that you have the condition, so get yourself down to the doctor’s office if you’re in any doubt.
Melanoma skin cancer has some of the best rates of recovery. If caught early, 98% of patients go on to beat the disease and go on to live healthy lives. The key factor to look out for is obvious changes in any moles on the skin. If they get bigger, or become different in shape, you should get yourself checked out. If any of your moles become itchy or sore, this is also a potential red flag. Your guide should be how your skin looks normally – any significant changes need to be investigated so that you can get treatment early.
While it’s good to keep an eye on your body, and make sure you get any worries looked at by a medical professional, keep things in perspective – even if you have some of the symptoms, you don’t necessarily have cancer. Trust your instincts and let your body guide you, and assuage any concerns you have about the future by looking after your health now to prepare for later life.