Cancer Fighting Foods

Print This Post Print This Post


          Cancer is believed to be the second most common cause of death after heart disease.  Its symptoms can be similar to those of other common diseases.  Typically, people ignore the early cancer symptoms, confusing them with other common conditions.  The following symptoms do not per se prove the diagnosis of cancer as they occur quite commonly in non-cancerous conditions too.  It is important to be aware of these symptoms and get them investigated and treated.

(i)      Unexpected Loss of Weight  —  Substances released by cancer cells can result in weight loss.  This is non-specific and can also be the result of a prolonged infection.  Still unexplained and unintended weight loss over a six month period needs to be investigated.

(ii)      Fatigue  —  Patients with cancer experience ongoing tiredness.  This could be caused by anaemia or due to an underlying disease like colon cancer, etc.  Fatigue increases as cancer progresses.

(iii)     Pain  —  Continuous pain that does not go away in a few months and keeps on getting worse may result from cancer.  Bony pain may be the sign of a cancer of the bone or a cancer that has started from a place like the prostate and has travelled to the bone.

(iv)     A Persistent Cough or Blood in the Saliva  —  This is epecially relevant for long term smokers, and is a common sign of lung cancer. Infectious diseases like tuberculosis can also present this way. Cough which lingers on for a long time inspite of adequate treatment should be thoroughly looked into to rule out cancer. Similarly hoarseness of voice lasting for more than two weeks should be looked into carefully.

(v)     Change in Bowel Habits or Blood in the Stool  —  Diarrhoea that does not go away, longterm constipation or change in the size of the stool (e.g pencil-thin stools) can signify colon cancer.  Blood in the stools could be due to hemorrhoids, but even this needs to be investigated.

(vi)     Blood in the Urine  —  Similarly, a change in the habit of urination in the form of thinning of the urine stream, retention of urine, and bleeding along with urination may be an early sign of cancer of the urinary system.  Blood in the urine can typically be due to kidney stones or a urinary infection.  However, blood in the urine not accompanied by pain can be a sign of bladder cancer.

(vii)    Lump in any part of the Body  —  Unusual lumps especially in the breasts, armpits, around the collarbone and neck and in the groin or testes may be non-cancerous, but still need to be evaluated thoroughly. Discharges from breasts are common, but if the discharge is bloody or only from one nipple and there is change in the shape of the nipple, further evaluation is needed.  Testicular cancer presents as a painless lump on the testicles.  Many other cancers like those of the lymph nodes can present this way.  Lumps most frequently are harmless and lymph nodes could be swollen due to an infection.  A lump should be reported to your doctor if it is for more than a month or a previous lump that is rapidly growing in size.

(viii)   Change in a Mole or a Wart  —  Each one of us have a wart or a mole somewhere on our body.  But if any of these shows an apparent change from its earlier shape, colour or size in the manner that it becomes rough with irregular edges, starts growing in size or starts bleeding, then consult a specialist to rule out the possibility of cancerous change.

(ix)     Sores that do not Heal  —  Sores normally heal quickly.  If a sore fails to heal, it should be evaluated.  Non-healing mouth sores and persistent white or red patches in the mouth could be a sign of cancer especially in patients who smoke or chew tobacco.

(x)     Indigestion or Difficulty in Swallowing  —  Indigestion, pain or uneasiness in the upper part of the abdomen, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting without any known reason or difficulty in swallowing are the early signals that may show the possible presence of cancer and need to be investigated carefully.

(xi)     Other Symptoms — Depression and sleeping problems, anaemia, post-menopausal bleeding, abnormal prostate test, abnormal heart palpitations, shortness of breath and breath sounds are sometimes manifest in cancerous conditions. NOTE: Though all the above symptoms are non-specific, if they meet the “2P” criterion (that is, if they are persistent and progressive), you should seek medical  advice.  It should be clearly understood that none of the above-mentioned warning signs in itself confirms the diagnosis of cancer in any part of the body.  It merely warns the person concerned that if the  signal persists for more than two weeks inspite of proper treatment for other causes, then he or she should consult a specialist for clearing the doubt of possible cancer.

 Prev 1 2 ... 5 6 7 8 9 ... 59 60 Next