Cancer is a serious medical condition that can be frightening, but with advances in diagnostic and treatment methods, more people are surviving and living full, healthy lives. Education about cancer is crucial for prevention and early detection, which can lead to better treatment outcomes. It’s important to be aware of the common symptoms of cancer, which can vary depending on the type and stage of the disease. By recognizing these symptoms early on, you can take action and seek medical attention if necessary.
Symptoms of Benign Health Conditions Can Mimic Cancer
It is important to note that not every pain, lump, or change in sensory perception is a sign of cancer. In fact, many of the symptoms commonly associated with cancer, such as a breast lump, may be caused by other acute or chronic health conditions that are not malignant. It is important to consult a healthcare professional if you experience any concerning symptoms, as they can help determine the underlying cause and provide appropriate treatment. It’s also important to undergo regular screenings for cancers that are known to be more common or have a higher risk based on your age, family history, and other factors.
Your PCP Should Check Persistent Symptoms
In addition to benign health conditions, it is also important to take note of symptoms that persist for two weeks or more and have no obvious cause. These symptoms should be evaluated by your primary care physician (PCP) or a specialist, as early detection is key in increasing the chances of a cure for many types of cancer, including breast, skin, and colorectal cancers.
Some Cancers Are Silent For a Long Time
Yes, some types of cancer, such as colorectal cancer and prostate cancer, may not cause noticeable symptoms in their early stages. Colorectal cancer can develop over several years without causing any symptoms, which is why regular screening is so important. Prostate cancer, in particular, can be slow-growing and may not cause any symptoms until it has spread beyond the prostate gland.
Regular cancer screenings are highly recommended by the National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, comprehensive cancer centers, and other healthcare entities. These screenings can help detect cancer early, before symptoms develop, which can improve the chances of successful treatment. The specific screening guidelines can vary depending on a person’s age, family history, and other risk factors, such as smoking or exposure to certain chemicals. Your primary care physician (PCP) can help determine when you should begin cancer screenings and how often you should have them.
Some Common Cancer Symptoms
It’s always better to be proactive and seek medical attention early, as early detection and treatment can improve the chances of a successful outcome. Remember, if something doesn’t feel right, it’s always better to get it checked out.
These symptoms are all potential warning signs of cancer and should prompt you to talk to your primary care physician for further evaluation:
- Persistent and prolonged fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss or gain of 10 pounds or more
- Firm lumps under the arm, in the groin, in the breast, or at the sides of the neck
- Skin changes, particularly spots that change in color, shape, and texture or that bleed or ooze fluid
- Changes in bladder habits, including urgency or passing blood
- Changes in bowel habits, including passing blood and pus
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- Poor appetite
- Stomach or abdominal pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty swallowing
- White or red patches or lumps on the lips or in the mouth
- Vision or hearing changes
- Jaundice (yellowed skin)
Cancer Care in Sarasota And Manatee Counties
At Intercoastal Medical Group, our hematology and oncology professionals work out of our Cattleridge Medical Building II in Sarasota, FL. Headed by oncologist Dr. Andrew Marple, the team provides state of the art imaging, testing, diagnosis, and treatment for many cancers, including blood cancers. We also deliver support services, nutritional education, physical therapy, and counseling needed for the cancer journey and remission.
To learn more about our cancer services, call us at (941) 200-1125, or request an informative visit online. We are a multi-specialty medical practice with more than 100 physicians focused on your best health.