Detection of a cancerous tumor leads to a serious shock. Undoubtedly, this disease causes many questions. In this article we will try to talk about types of cancer in order to understand the mechanisms of the disease and its symptoms. How to recognize cancer at an early stage?
Cancer: causes, stages and stages
This disease has been known since ancient times. It was first described by the Greek physician Hippocrates. Comparing tumors with crab, he gave them the names of karkinos and karkinoma, since they resembled claws of an arthropod.
The human body consists of billions of cells that develop, perform their function and die, that is, everything happens in a streamlined cycle. Cancerous tumors develop from normal cells due to a number of abnormalities - mutations. Unfortunately, they are not eliminated by a normal biological process. The cell becomes abnormal and if it does not die, it begins to divide, forming thousands of its own kind, which leads to the formation of a tumor.
Cancer cannot be caused by one cause. This is the result of a combination of factors that can interact with each other, as a result of which the disease progresses. Consider them in more detail:
- External factors - radiation, polluted by industrial emissions environment, tobacco, alcohol, the predominance in the diet of animal fats.
- Viruses and bacteria can also be the cause of various types of cancer, such as those associated with human papillomavirus, hepatitis B, or Helicobacter pylori bacteria.
- Internal factors are mainly associated with the aging of the body and the accumulation of harmful effects.
- Not the last role is played by heredity. Genetic predisposition is associated with the possibility of transmitting cellular mutations to offspring. According to statistics, only 5-10% of cancer cases are associated with a family history of this disease.
How does pathology develop?
If the cancers are not treated, their development is mostly the same, differing only in speed and method for each type. Such a course of the disease reflects its natural course:
- The disease begins with a precancerous condition in which mutated cells appear. However, not all precancerous cells necessarily develop into cancer.
- The cancer cell begins to divide, forming an initially small local tumor that remains in the original tissue. From a medical point of view, this condition corresponds to stage 1 of the disease.
- The tumor grows and begins to invade neighboring tissues - this is stage 2.
- Metastases appear. As a rule, in 3 stages they affect the lymph nodes, which become palpable. At 4 stages of development of the disease, metastases spread to other organs. In 90% of cases, metastases are the cause of death from cancer.
Common signs of cancer and their detection
Cancer can cause numerous symptoms depending on its location. However, some signs are common. These symptoms of cancer at an early stage are sometimes difficult to recognize, and they are often perceived as harmless. Judge for yourself: headache, fatigue, cough - symptoms that can easily go unnoticed.
So, the common signs of cancer include:
- frequent physical fatigue and fatigue;
- rapid weight loss initially without significant changes in food, and subsequently with loss of appetite;
- recurring and increasing headaches, as well as other pain, depending on the location of the cancer;
- painfully enlarged lymph nodes, especially in the neck, armpits and groin.
These symptoms often manifest too late when the cancer is already at stage 2 or 3. Therefore, it is extremely important to know how to diagnose cancer in the early stages and to identify signs that are insignificant in appearance but very dangerous.
You do the right thing by contacting a doctor if you notice:
- a change in timbre or loss of voice for at least two weeks;
- the formation of small ulcers on the mucous surface of the oral cavity or tongue and their spontaneous disappearance within a few weeks;
- the occurrence of regular difficulty in swallowing food, clear signs of dysphagia;
- cough for 15 days without improvement after appropriate treatment, appearance of expectorations with blood content.
Signs of Digestive Cancer
How to recognize intestinal cancer at an early stage? The following symptoms should be alerted:
- continuous pain in the stomach, especially with weight loss;
- all kinds of bowel disorders:
- constipation or diarrhea, especially if they alternate for several days;
- the presence of red or black blood in the stool: such bleeding can be distinguished from hemorrhoids by the fact that they mix with feces and are painless;
- any rapid and unexplained weight loss.
Symptoms of cancer in women
Of course, any small painless tightness in the chest should lead to an oncologist. And bleeding that occurs between the menstrual cycle or in postmenopausal requires a gynecological examination.
How to recognize uterine cancer at an early stage? For this purpose, regular gynecological monitoring of precancerous conditions is carried out, which corresponds to the modification of cervical epithelial cells. Pre-cancerous conditions may be accompanied by symptoms such as:
- bleeding after talactomy;
- feeling like a big time;
- vaginal discharge of unpleasant odor;
- painful urination;
- constant yellowing, with pain.
All the symptoms listed in the article are not necessarily signs of cancer, but when they persist and all the more accumulate, they should be taken seriously and sought medical advice. Be healthy!