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cancer Doctor Tips

Cancer Alert: Know Symptoms That Could Be Cancer

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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114 people found this helpful

All About Cervical Cancer

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.
4053 people found this helpful

Lung Cancer

Dr. R.K.Chopra 91% (124 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

Dr. Devendra Singh Dhaker 85% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, MCh - Urology
Urologist, Bhopal
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. 

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.

1816 people 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"

4396 people found this helpful

All About Prostate Cancer

Dr. Ankur Malpani 88% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MS - General Surgery, DNB - Urology
Urologist, Bhopal
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.

Gynaecological cancers

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 85% (20 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.

3203 people found this helpful

Know More About Breast Cancer!

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

Know The Myths About Cancer!

DNB - Medical Oncology, MD - Medicine, MBBS
Oncologist, Chandigarh
Know The Myths About Cancer!

Cancer, or the big C, is always in the news. Use any keyword related to cancer, and there is definitely information overload. Also, with more people surviving cancer, there are too many tales to tell. All this leads to misconceptions and myths, leaving people, who are looking for genuine information, completely confused. The following are some common misconceptions.

  1. Cancer is a new-age disease: There is reference to cancer in ancient Egyptian and Greek stories, so cancer is definitely not new. However, it is true that the incidence has increased tremendously with the modern lifestyle habits.
  2. Food items prevent cancer: There are claims that food items like kale, blueberries, green tea, broccoli, etc., can prevent cancer. It is not true. They do have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but are not helpful in preventing cancer.
  3. Acidic diet causes cancer: The body’s pH is not determined by the food products that we consume. Neither acidic nor alkaline environment is healthy, and further, the body has its own mechanism to regulate pH; so go ahead and eat what you like.
  4. Sugars cause cancer: Sugar, believed to be the main energy source, is required for growth. Since cancer is linked to uncontrolled growth, it is believed that more sugar leads to more cancer. This again is a false notion, as there is no connection between the two.
  5. Screening is only for breast cancer: Agreed, breast cancer is easy to screen for, but any person with predisposition can go for periodic screening to help in early identification and intervention.
  6. Cancer medicines kill more than they cure: Whether it is chemotherapy or radiation, they do not pick only the cancer cells. When directed at a body part, the radiation affects the entire area. Chemotherapy targets and controls growth of a lot of normal processes, thereby affecting normal life.
  7. There is no cure for cancer: It is not a simple process. Curing cancer involves multiple facets – some of which may not be known or unearthed. While there are some stories, which talk about how they conquered cancer completely, there are a greater number of failures. Do not conclude on either side. Each person and each type of cancer is treated differently.
  8. Tight undergarments are not connected to cancer: As popularly advertised, tight underwear and underwired bras do not cause testicular or breast cancer.
  9. Biopsies spread cancer: This is a misconception. Most people are scared to get a biopsy as they perceive that it may spread the cancerous cells to normal areas.

This is just a short list, and there are far too many false notions. Check with your doctor to validate the information before using it to take any decision.

 

3354 people found this helpful
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