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cancer Doctor Tips

Cancer Alert: Know Symptoms That Could Be Cancer

Dr. Ashok Jain 90% (697 ratings)
MS ( General Surgery)
Oncologist, Mandsaur
Cancer Alert: Know Symptoms That Could Be Cancer
Cancer symptoms you shouldn't ignore

Most often than not, cancer comes unannounced and rocks our world. While of late routine tests are being encouraged, it is advisable to keep a look out for symptoms which are commonly overlooked. Some of them are:

1. Peculiar back pain - it has been noticed that the first symptom for liver cancer in many cases is pain the back of the lower back side of the body. Back pain could also be a symptom for breast cancer, in cases where the tumour is pressing backwards, into the chest.
2. Unexplained nail marks - nails often reflect the condition of our health. If there is a sudden and unexplained change in the fingernails, like maybe a dot/a black mark or a brown mark under the nail, this could be a sign of lung cancer.
3. Sensitive skin patches - if there is a lump on the skin or a patch feels sore, is crusty or bleeds very easily then this could be a symptom of skin cancer. It is important to be aware of all changes in your skin, throughout the body.
4. Unexplained facial puffiness - if your face seems puffy, read or swelled, without any logical explanation, this could be a symptom.
5. Unusual menstruation - if you are having unusually heavy and painful periods, it is advisable to request for a transvaginal ultrasound as this could be a symptom of uterine cancer.
6. Changes in breast (s) - this is the most common change which women who have been diagnosed of breast cancer have reported. If the nipple is flattened, inverted or turned sideways, it could be a symptom for breast cancer. Also, if the breast feels read, sore or swollen, it could be a symptom.
7. Frequent stomach problems - frequent upset stomachs and cramps could be the symptom of colorectal cancer.
8. Unreasonable weight loss - if you are losing a lot of weight without even trying to, this could be an early sign of colon or any other digestive cancer. It could also mean that the cancer is spreading to the liver, if your appetite is getting affected.
9. Blood in stool - if there is blood in your stool, this could be a symptom of colorectal cancer and you need to go for a colonoscopy.

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113 people found this helpful

All About Cervical Cancer

Dr. Parimalam Ramanathan 87% (45 ratings)
FRCOG (LONDON) (Fellow of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists), Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) - Nephrology, MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, DNB, MBBS
IVF Specialist, Chennai
All About Cervical Cancer

Cervix is the tissue that connects the vagina and the uterus and is an important part of female reproductive system. Cervical cancer like any other form of cancer refers to an abnormal growth of cells on the cervix, one that if undetected at the initial stages, can involve tremendous complications which are often fatal. It is one of the most common ailments that women suffer from, making it only more important to be taken seriously and treated immediately.

Some of the visible symptoms of this ailment are:

  1. Abnormal bleeding from the vagina: Though menstruation is a natural occurrence in a woman's life, often times you can suffer from abnormal bleeding from the vagina, which may precede, succeed or occur between periods. Such abnormal bleeding is symptomatic of cervical cancer and you must visit a doctor immediately.
  2. Pain in the abdomen: In case you are suffering from cervical cancer, clear signals will be given by your body indicating that. One such signal is a nagging pain in the abdomen or in the pelvis. Though it may appear harmless, you must not treat it lightly and consult a doctor as soon as possible.
  3. Excruciating pain during periods: Experiencing pain during periods is a matter of such compliance that it seldom raises any concern. However, in certain cases the pain may be more than what you generally experience. In such a situation, it must not be dismissed entirely rather must be consulted with a doctor.

Diagnosis:
The most common test is used to diagnose cervical cancer is known as a pap test. In this particular examination, a sample of cells from your cervix will be taken by the doctor for examination. If the inference is reliant on the normal or the abnormal growth of these cells, the latter confirming the onset of the ailment.

In spite of being an extremely lethal ailment, over the years various treatments have evolved that successfully deal with this problem. Some of them are:

  1. Surgery: One of the effective and oft availed of treatment to treat cervical cancer is a surgery. Depending on the stage on which the disease is detected, doctors may suggest for a hysterectomy or removing the pelvic lymph nodes.
  2. Chemotherapy: This has emerged as the most sought after way of treating any form of cancer. The abnormal growth of cells that triggers cancer in the first place is deterred in this method by administering drugs to kill destroy them.
4052 people found this helpful

Lung Cancer

Dr. R.K.Chopra 89% (112 ratings)
MD - Medicine, MD - Pulmonary Medicine
Pulmonologist, Pune

Lung cancer- Chronic smokers, Ex smokers, unprotected exposures in industries, family history of cancer, pollutions are risk factors. Common symptoms are-  Can be no symptom, persistent cough, voice change, blood in the sputum, pain chest, breathlessness etc. Best test is CT scan of the chest to see any nodule, mass. Early diagnosis is very important for better survival. Biopsy of nodule/mass can confirm diagnosis in 24 hours. Good treatment options including surgery in early stages are available in good centers. So do not waste time in approaching good chest doctor in a good clinic/hospital for early diagnosis.

1 person found this helpful

All About Prostate Cancer

DNB (Urology), MS - General Surgery, MBBS
Urologist, Delhi
All About Prostate Cancer

Prostate Cancer is a form of cancer that affects men. The prostate is basically a small gland that sits in the male pelvic cavity and is responsible for producing seminal fluid or semen, from its position under the bladder, surrounding the urethra. The testosterone hormone controls this gland.

Prostate cancer refers to the growth of a malignant mass of cells which can also be called a tumour. More about this cancer:

  • Risk Factors: The various risk factors involved in this kind of cancer are many. Advanced age, a family history of the same disease, obesity as well as genetic changes can lead to the development of this kind of tumour.
  • Types: There are basically two types of prostate cancer, including fast growing or aggressive, and slow growing or non-aggressive. Yet, it is also important to remember that not every abnormal growth in this gland can be termed as a tumour, or is a sign of prostate cancer. A malignant growth signifies prostate cancer. This tumour can grow at a fast pace for aggressive prostate cancer, while it can grow and spread slowly for the non-aggressive type.
  • Symptoms: It is possible to not have any kind of obvious symptoms when suffering from this kind of cancer. The symptoms usually begin to show up when the cancer has reached a more advanced stage. These include urinary problems, most significantly. The patient may go through pain and difficulty when it comes to urinating. This pain may also occur during ejaculation. The patient may also find blood discharge in the semen upon ejaculation and suffer from sexual dysfunction as well. Pain in the chest, pelvic area and back are also common symptoms of prostate cancer, which may gradually turn into numbness in the said areas as well.
  • Diagnosis: The diagnosis of the issue will be done by a specialist from the urology department. After a physical examination where a diagnosis of the symptoms and other check ups will happen, the doctor may conduct lab tests to check the blood, urine and other samples. Further, imaging tests like MRI and CT scans will also be conducted. A digital rectal exam and prostate biopsy will also help in effective diagnosis.
  • Treatment: The treatment of this kind of cancer usually depends on the severity of the symptoms and the spread of the tumour. Besides active observation, the doctor may also recommend radiation, chemotherapy and surgery based on the age and health condition of the patient. If you happen to find even subtle symptoms which could point towards this disease, do not hesitate to get in touch with the doctor.

Related Tip: "Foods That May Cause Cancer"

4395 people found this helpful

Gynaecological cancers

Dr. Sujoy Dasgupta 90% (10856 ratings)
MBBS (Gold Medalist, Hons), MS (Obst and Gynae- Gold Medalist), DNB (Obst and Gynae), Fellow- Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (ACOG, USA), FIAOG, MRCOG (London, UK)
Gynaecologist, Kolkata
Gynaecological cancers

Today is the WORLD CANCER DAY and the theme of this year is "We can, I can".... Yes we all can battle the cancer. But the irony is that majority of women ignore early signs and symptoms of cancer and do not consult doctors in time. And even some of these cancers are preventable if proper action is taken. 

Ovarian Cancer

  • What will you do if you feel gaseous distension (gas, bloating), acidity, constipation, change in bowel habit, decreased appetite, feeling of full stomach, weight loss and abdominal swellling? Majority of the women ignore these symptoms and take antacids before it is too late. But these are often symptoms of early ovarian cancer and thus if you ignore these symptoms, you are harming yourself. Ovarian cancer is difficult to treat if detected at late stage. But in early stage, it is curable. So, don't ignore these symptoms.
  • Who are the women at risk of ovarian cancer- women who are not having baby, who themselves or close relatives (sister/ mother/ daughter) had history of cancer in breast/ ovary/ bowel/ uterus etc. But some women are at lower risk like those using Oral Contraceptive Pills- OCP(- the birth control pills can reduce the risk by 50%) and who had tubal ligation (permanent family lanning methods).
  • If you had such risk factors, you must not avoid any such above mentioned symptoms. Rather you should consult gynecologist early. Ovarian cancer can be detected by ultrasound, CT scan, some blood tests (CA 125) and some cases biopsy may be needed. And remember, majority of the ovarian diseases are NOT cancer but you must be sure that it's not cancer causing your problem.
  • If ovarian cancer is diagnosed, the treatment is surgery (to be done by expert personnels) and most of the women need chemotherapy.
  • Ovarian cancer is common in elderly women but it can afect younger women also. So, all the women should take care of the above mentioned symptoms

 

Cancer of Cervix: Cervix is the mouth of the terus. In our country, this is the COMMONEST CANCER in GYNAECOLOGY affecting women whereas it is uncommon in the Western countries. The irony is that women die of this disease whereas it is TOTALLY PREVENTABLE

  • It is caused by a virus (human papilloma virus- HPV) that is sexually transmitted (so afects sexually active women). But it has a peculiar feature that before cancer actually occurs, there is precancerous stage- when the cells of cervix shows some changes that we can detect and treat. So, if women regularly consult doctor (WHEN THEY DO NOT HAVE PROBLEMS), we can check if she is at risk of cervical cancer or not, by some simple tests (Pap Smear, HPV testing etc). Is such changes are found (that is not cancer) we can treat her so that she does not develop cancer. These method of detection, before disease occurs or before an individual feels that she is having disease, is called "Screening". 
  • Another method of preventing it is vaccination of HPV, that should be given to the adolescent girls before they become sexually active. Even it can be given in older women (who are sexually active), although the response is somehow lower than if given at early age. But vaccination is not alternative to screening. SO, both screening and vaccination should be done to prevent this cancer.
  • Even if detected at early stage, it is totally curable. So, women should not ignore symptoms of excessive vaginal discharge (remember, all excessive discharges are not due to cancer), abnormal or heavy menstrual bleeding, bleeding occuring unredictably in between menstrualtion, bleeding after intercourse etc.
  • It is treated by surgery and some cases may need radiation also.

 

Cancer of uterus

  • Cancer of uterus is common after 50 years of age (although can occur at early years also). It is the commonest gynaecological cancer in the Western World. It mainly occurs in women who are obese (excessive weight), having diabetes or hypertension (high blood pressure), not having any baby, who are having personal or family history of cancer in uterus/ breast/ ovary/ bowel. 
  • It can be prevented by taking OCP (birth control pils) and controlling weight. In many cases, it is also preceeded by some precancerous changes (hyperplasia) that can be detected by ultrasonography and if needed small biopsy procedure.
  • The common symptoms are abnormal heavy bleeding and bleeding after attaining menopause (after totall stoppage of menses). So, any abnormal menstrual bleeding must be properly investigated.
  • It is usually well curable if treated early- by surgery and in few cases, may need radiation, chemo or hormone therapy.

 

Cancer of Vulva: The external genitalia of female is known as vulva. Cancer in vulva is relatively uncommon but still it can happen, especially those who are having diabetes, HIV positive or those having poor hygiene.

  • Never ignore any symptoms of excessive itching in your private parts. It may be the early symptom of vulval cancer. Some cases, patient may have ulcer or tumour or bleeding.
  • It can be detected easily by examination by doctor and then taking biopsy. It is treated well with surgery and some cases, radiation may be needed.

 

Sumary: Majority of the gynaecological cacers are preventable. They can be diagnosed early if women consult doctor at early stage. Majority of them respond to treatment. 

1 person found this helpful

Know All About Adrenal Cancer!

Dr. Rajarshi Mukhopadhyay 87% (17 ratings)
FRCP (Edinburg), DM - Endocrinology, CCT (Endocrinology), MRCP - Diabetes & Endocrinology, MRCP (UK), MD & DNB - General Medicine, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Endocrinologist, Kolkata
Know All About Adrenal Cancer!

Cancer can affect even small glands like the adrenal glands. Adrenal glands are responsible for the production of hormones like cortisol and aldosterone. These glands are located above the kidneys and have two parts; the cortex and the medulla. Adrenal cancer generally affects the cortex of the adrenal glands. This type of cancerous tumour is rare and can be difficult to diagnose.

Most adrenal cancer symptoms are triggered by an excessive production of estrogen and androgen. Symptoms can also be caused by the pressure put on other organs by the tumour. Adrenal cancer symptoms are most easily noticeable in children as this is the stage where the body is changing and developing. Some of these symptoms are:

  1. Facial hair growth
  2. Excessive pubic and underarm hair
  3. An enlarged penis or clitoris
  4. Early onset of puberty in girls
  5. Development of enlarged breasts in boys

Symptoms of adrenal cancer in adults includes:

  1. Excessive weight gain in the abdomen and above the collar bone
  2. High blood pressure
  3. Irregular menstruation
  4. Easy bruising
  5. Depression
  6. Frequent urge to urinate
  7. Muscle cramps

Additionally, men with adrenal cancer that causes excessive estrogen production may notice an enlargement of breast tissue and tenderness in the area. Women suffering from excessive androgen production triggered by adrenal cancer may notice their voice deepening and facial hair growth. In most cases, adrenal cancer symptoms in women do not appear until the tumour presses on other organs. This includes symptoms like pain around the tumor, a feeling of fullness in the abdomen and difficulty eating because of this feeling.

The cause of adrenal cancer has not yet been determined, but conditions such as Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, familial adenomatous polyposis and multiple endocrine neoplasia can increase a person’s risk of suffering from this disease. A thorough physical examination and a detailed medical history is required to diagnose this disease. The doctor will also need a blood test and urine test. Additional tests that may be required include:

  1. Biopsy of the tumor
  2. CT scan
  3. MRI scan
  4. PET scan
  5. Adrenal angiography

Adrenal cancer can be cured if diagnosed in its early stages. There are three types of treatment for adrenal cancer; surgery to remove the adrenal gland, chemotherapy and radiation. However, adrenal cancer can recur and hence it is important to schedule and maintain regular check-ups with your doctor.

Know More About Breast Cancer!

Dr. Ketan Dang 89% (111 ratings)
DNB - Medical Oncology, MD - Medicine, MBBS
Oncologist, Chandigarh
Know More About Breast Cancer!

Being diagnosed with cancer is a scary thought but with medical intervention, most breast cancer cases can be treated. The most common forms of treatment are radiation and chemotherapy. Along with this, there are many forms of alternative and complementary treatment that may be followed. This can help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation and boost the immune system. Here are some things you can do as an alternative and complementary form of treatment.

  1. Have a special dietHaving a healthy, well-balanced diet is necessary for everyone. This becomes more important when a person is recovering from cancer. Foods that have a high level of saturated fats and salt should be avoided. Intake of smoked, highly processed and pickled foods should also be reduced. On the other hand, you should increase your intake of vegetables, fruits and other foods derived directly from plants.
  2. Get your antioxidants: Antioxidants can protect a person from the damage caused by free radicals. This aids in the treatment of breast cancer and speeds up the healing process. Some of the antioxidants that can be beneficial in treating breast cancer are vitamins A, C and E, Lycopene and Beta Carotene. This can be found in wild blueberries, pecans, dark chocolate, kidney beans and goji berries. You can also increase your antioxidant consumption with dietary supplements. However, consult your doctor before taking any antioxidant supplements as it can interact with other drugs.
  3. Massage therapy: Massages can help relax the mind. They also have a number of other benefits. They are known as immunity boosters and can ease fatigue and pain. Thus a massage can also reduce the need for pain medication. It also helps increase the concentration of white blood cells in cases where women are being treated for stage I and stage II breast cancer.
  4. Acupuncture: Acupuncture is an alternative form of treatment that is considered part of traditional Chinese medicine. This involves the placement of sterile, needles that are very thin into specific points on the skin. These are then gently moved to stimulate the nervous system. In some cases, herbal supplements may also be incorporated into the treatment. Acupuncture is believed to help relieve fatigue, control vomiting and hot flashes and reduce pain.

It is important to note that these forms of treatment should not replace medical treatment but should be carried out along with it. You must also ensure that your doctor is aware of any supplements of alternative forms of treatment that you may be taking along with the medical treatment.

3227 people found this helpful

How Do I Know if I Have Prostate Cancer?

Dr. Nikhil Sharma 89% (22 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, DNB (Urology)
Urologist, Ghaziabad
How Do I Know if I Have Prostate Cancer?

Only men have prostate gland and it surrounds that part of the tube which carries urine out of the body from the bladder. When cells in this gland start growing without any control and get clumped with each other, they form tumors. It is then the chances of prostate cancer arise in the men's body. These tumors can be malignant, and they can kill the healthy tissues of your body and spread to other body parts. 

Chances of getting prostate cancer
The chances of getting prostate cancer are among men who are over 65 years of age. The ratio of getting prostate cancer is one among six men. It is more common in black men compared to white men, Hispanic men and Asian men. Moreover, when there is history of prostate cancer in your family, the chances of having prostate cancer increases.

Now, let's find out the symptoms that will let you know that you may have prostate cancer.

Symptoms of prostate cancer
There are different stages of prostate cancer and depending upon the stage you can get to know various symptoms. 
However, the problem is that in the early stages there are no specific symptoms of prostate cancer. Certain urinary symptoms may suggest that you are suffering from prostate cancer. Such symptoms are: 

  • Frequent urination
  • Difficulty with starting urine flow
  • Urination that burns
  • Blood in the urine
  • Weak flow, or 'dribbling'

These symptoms always do not mean that you are suffering from prostate cancer, as these symptoms may be there when your prostate gland gets enlarged. 

Another symptom associated with prostate cancer is pain in different parts of the body. When the cancerous cells spread they cause pain around the prostate gland. There can be pain in the hips, pelvis, and lower back or upper thighs. 

Prostate gland also plays a major role in the male reproductive system. Thus, if there is any sexual dysfunction, there are chances that it may be due to prostate cancer. If you are having a problem in getting an erection or maintaining it also becomes difficult, one problem can be prostate cancer.  Sometimes you may experience painful ejaculation, which also points towards chances of having prostate cancer. 

Thus, if you experience any of the above mentioned symptoms, its right time to get to your physician. Remember that as there are no early symptoms, the moment you find any of these symptoms, you should pay a visit to your Doctor.

Related Tip: "Prostate Cancer and Its Psychological Impact"

3667 people found this helpful

All About Endometrial Cancer

Dr. Mohan Krishna Raut 90% (83 ratings)
MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, MBBS, DGO
Gynaecologist, Mumbai
All About Endometrial Cancer

Cancer that originates in the uterus is termed as Endometrial Cancers. The cancer is known to originate in the endometrium i.e. lining as well as the cells of the uterus. Abnormal vaginal bleeding causes the cancer to be detected early and a consultation with the doctor should be done immediately. When other cancers originating from the uterus are considered, endometrial cancer is found to be the most common.

Causes: The exact cause for endometrial cancer is not known clearly. The cells in the endometrium tend to become abnormal due to the occurrence of a genetic mutation, which causes rapid multiplication of cells that ultimately lead to the formation of a tumour like mass. They begin to spread to other parts and proceed to affect the tissues in the surrounding areas.

Symptoms:
The typical symptoms of endometrial cancer include:

  1. 1. Irregular bleeding in between periods
  2. 2. A watery discharge from the vagina
  3. 3. Bleeding from the vagina postmenopausal
  4. 4. Pain in the pelvic floor muscles

Risk factors that might increase the chances of being affected by endometrial cancer include:

  1. 1. Aging increases the chances of this disease, especially post menopause.
  2. 2. Obesity can cause hormonal imbalance.
  3. 3. Certain drugs used in hormone therapy
  4. 4. Early onset of menstruation, especially before 12 years of age

Treatment for Endometrial Cancer Includes:

  1. Radiation therapy: This treatment procedure involves using radiations, such as X-rays to target and destroy the cancer cells. The two forms of radiation therapy are external radiation therapy (external machine is used to direct radiation on the cancer cells) and internal radiation therapy (radioactive substance enclosed within small and consumable items is placed near to or directly at the spot of cancer).
  2. Hormone therapy: Medications are administered to eliminate imbalances in hormone levels and prohibit the growth of cancer cells in the body. This remedy is preferred if the cancer progresses to an advanced stage.
  3. Chemotherapy: This form of treatment uses oral administration or injection of chemicals into the veins so that the growth of cancerous cells is curbed, either by elimination of the cells or by prohibiting cell division.
  4. Surgery: In this surgery, the areas affected by cancer are surgically removed; i.e. the uterus in this case. The surgical procedures that might be used include total hysterectomy (total removal of uterus), radical hysterectomy (removal of the cervix, uterus and part of the vagina) and Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of both the ovaries and the fallopian tubes). In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
6345 people found this helpful

Breast Cancer - The Most Common Cancer In India

Dr. Smita Vats 90% (204 ratings)
FICMCH, Diploma In Laproscopic Surgery, Certified in Laparoscopy & Hysteroscopy, DNB (Obstetrics and Gynecology), MBBS
Gynaecologist, Gurgaon
Breast Cancer - The Most Common Cancer In India

Breast cancer(स्तन कैंसर) is on the rise in india. Surveys show that every 4 out of 5 Indian women who have breast cancer, suffer from an advanced stage of the disease by the time they reach the doctor. Urban women are at two times more risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer than rural women. Being overweight, eating unhealthy food, and consuming excessive alcohol or tobacco are some of causes that can make you susceptible to this disease.

How you can avoid breast cancer?

  1. Every woman should do a self-breast examination every month after the periods. You should check for any abnormal lump, change in skin texture or any abnormal discharge from the nipples. Any abnormality above aspects should be promptly investigated by a doctor's appointment, and an ultrasound or Mammography, as required.
  2. Apart from self-examining your breasts every month for a lump, going for a mammography (an X-Ray of the breast) is vital for early detection of the problem.
  3. Consult a gynaecologist before going for the test as its frequency depends on your age and risk factor. About 80-90% of tumours can be traced through this screening.

Breast cancer may run in family. If there is no family history of breast cancer, you start doing mammogram at 40 yrs of age but if there is a family history you start even earlier as advised by your gynaecologist.

3692 people found this helpful
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