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Cancer: Warning Signs & Reducing Your Risk

Cancer is a term for diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control and can invade nearby tissues. Cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body through the blood and lymph systems. There are several main types of cancer such as:

  • Carcinoma – is a cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs.
  • Sarcoma – is a cancer that begins in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood vessels, or other connective or supportive tissue.
  • Leukemia – starts in blood-forming tissue, such as bone marrow, and causes large numbers of abnormal blood cells to be produced and enter the blood.
  • Lymphoma and multiple myeloma – begin in the cells of the immune system.
  • Central nervous system cancers – begin in the tissues of the brain and spinal cord.

Warning signs of Cancer

Some of the warning signs are general bur their presence can help direct doctors to do physical examination and diagnostic tests necessary to exclude or confirm the diagnosis.

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Night Sweats
  • Loss of appetite
  • New, persistent pain
  • Recurrent nausea or vomiting
  • Blood in urine
  • Blood in stool (either visible or detectable by special tests)
  • A recent change in bowel habits (constipation or diarrhea)
  • Recurrent fever
  • Chronic cough
  • Changes in size or color of a mole or changes in a skin ulcer that does not heal
  • Enlarged lymph nodes

Cancer Prevention: Tips to Reduce Your Risk

  1. Don’t use tobacco. Smoking has been linked to various types of cancer – including cancer of the lungs, mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, bladder, cervix and kidney.
  2. Eat a healthy diet.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight and be physically active.
  4. Protect yourself from the sun. Skin cancer is one of the most common kinds of cancer and one of the most preventable.
  5. Get immunized. Cancer prevention includes protection from certain viral infections. Consult your doctor about immunization against Hepatitis B and Human papillomavirus (HPV).
  6. Avoid risky behaviors that can lead to infections (ex. practice safe sex).
  7. Get regular medical care.

Disclaimer: Insular Health Care, Inc. disclaims any liability or responsibility for the consequences of any actions taken in reliance on the health advisory or safety tips. The health-related materials contained herein are not intended to establish policy, procedure or standard of care.

References:

  • www.cancer.gov
  • www.merckmanuals.com
  • www.mayoclinic.org
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