Life is a beautiful journey that should be enjoyed by living healthy and staying fit. It should never be taken for granted when the incidence of getting diseases is increasing especially the incidence of cancer in women. The prevention and treatment of many of life threatening cancers is possible if they are found at early stages. For that a woman needs to be alert and able to recognize the symptoms.
Recognising the symptoms and regular screening of cancer will not only decrease the mortality rate but improve the quality of life. Therefore, every woman should put little effort towards taking care of their health.
In this article we will discuss about
- Cancer symptoms that women should never ignore
- Common cancers in women
Cancer symptoms that women should never ignore
Following are some of the major symptoms that should not be ignored by women as they can be the sign of cancer:
Abnormal vaginal bleeding: Any bleeding after undergoing menopause should not be ignored. Consult your doctor if you experience vaginal bleeding between your periods. Heavy bleeding or bleeding during intercourse can be the sign of vaginal or cervical cancer.
Unexplained weight loss: If you lose sudden excessive body weight without any efforts, diet change or physical activity then consult your doctor.
Bloody vaginal discharge: If you experience bloody, smelly or dark vaginal discharge talk to your doctor. It can be the sign of only infection or a warning sign of endometrial, cervical or vaginal cancer.
Constant fatigue: After a hectic week, a little rest is enough to cure your fatigue. If you are unable to enjoy your life due to your fatigue, then do not ignore it. Talk to your doctor.
Loss of appetite: If you never feel hungry then you may be suffering the symptoms of ovarian cancer or other cancers, which are not associated with the reproductive system.
Pain in the abdominal area or pelvis: Continuing pelvis or abdominal pain can be the signal of endometrial or ovarian cancer.
Constant pressure in the bladder: If you start experiencing variations in your bathroom habits such as sudden need to urinate every time or constant feeling of pressure in the bladder. If you are not pregnant or made a habit of drinking more water, then this could be the sign of cancer.
Constant nausea or indigestion: These symptoms can be the signal of gynecologic cancers. Therefore, do not delay and talk to a doctor. Change in bowel habits may be the sign of external pressing on the colon, which may be advanced stage gynecologic cancer or other cancer.
Changes in breasts: Always stay alert for the lumps in armpits or breast that you may observe during bathing. Also take care of the changes in the appearance and feel of your breasts and nipples.
Fever or night sweats: Hot flashes and night sweats are common in menopause. But night sweats, which occur regularly, can be the sign of lymphoma or leukemia. They may also cause fever.
Cough: A long-term cough can be the sign of lung cancer particularly if hoarse all the time. Contact your doctor immediately if you cough up blood or have chest pain in the chest.
Changes in skin: Skin cancer may appear as a mole, which gets bigger, a sore, which does not heal or as a crusty red spot. If you observe any such changes in your skin, talk to your doctor.
Now let’s discuss some of the common cancers in women
Common Cancers in women
Breast cancer: It is the most common cancer occurring in women. It can develop at any age, but its risk increases when you get older. It is easier to treat breast cancer when it is small and has not spread. Going for regular screening tests is the best way for early detection.
Colorectal cancer: This cancer starts in the rectum or colon. Factors such as being obese or overweight, eating high quantities of red and processed meats, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol consumption, being older, personal or family history of colorectal cancer and smoking increases the risk of colorectal cancer.
Regular screening for colorectal cancer is one of the reliable ways to find it early. It can help to find this cancer when it is small, has not spread and easy to treat.
Endometrial cancer: It is the cancer of the endometrium, which is the inner lining of the uterus. The risk of this cancer increases when women get older. Certain factors such as taking estrogen without progesterone, administering tamoxifen for breast cancer, having an early onset of menstrual periods, history of infertility, not having children or late menopause can increase the risk of endometrial cancer.
Lung cancer: It is usually caused by exposure to chemicals and other particles in the air. However, tobacco smoking is the major cause of lung cancer.
Cervical cancer: Chronic infection by some types of the human papillomavirus (HPV) is the major risk factor for cervical cancer. You can get this infection through sexual contacts. Smoking, weakened immune system, chlamydia infection, being overweight and hormone treatments are the other causes of cervical cancer.
Regular screening tests can help to find the changes in the cervix, which can be treated before they develop into cancer. HPV test and the Pap test are the tests used for cervical cancer screening.
Ovarian cancer: This cancer can occur at any age, but it is more prone to develop when a woman gets older. The major factors responsible for this cancer development are not having children, or having the first child after the age of 35 years. Also, the women who used estrogen alone as hormone replacement therapy have increased risk of getting this cancer. A Pap test cannot diagnose this cancer but a woman must go for a regular pelvic exam.
Being positive, adopting a healthy lifestyle and taking care of yourself can contribute a lot in preventing and treating various types of cancers. You can take the help of above mentioned points that should not be ignored if you want to find the cancer at its early stages and treat them before they become worse.