These changes in the body may be signs of cancer
The sooner the cancer is found, the better the prognosis is. Some of the cancers can be found due to person’s own attention: when something suddenly changes in the body, research is sought.
Screening for women's cancer
Women's breast cancer and cervical cancers are cancers that can be screened. Screenings are usually free inspections for women. Breast cancer is screened for breast x-rays or mammograms, in which a woman aged 50-69 is called every other year. Research often reveals changes 2-3 millimeters in size, so cancer can be found at an early stage. 91% of breast cancer patients are alive five years after the diagnosis.
The cancer of the cervical canal is screened by a papa test, i.e. a sample taken from the cervical mucosa. The test is called on 30-60 year old women every five years. The Pap test already reveals the cervical cancer precursors. Today, this cancer is rare.
The HPV vaccine protects the cervix from a carcinogenic HPV virus. Because the vaccine is given to young people, Pap test screening will be needed for decades.
Cancer screening tests for men
The diagnosis of prostate cancer is used to measure blood PSA, but its use as a screening study makes no sense. In most of the 80 year old men small tumor can be found in the microscopic study inside the prostate, which may never get dangerous. If cancer is diagnosed, the cancer tissue is removed either by radiotherapy or by removing the prostate. Treatments involve disadvantages of urinary incontinence to impotence, meaning that some men get unnecessarily disadvantaged.
In men and women, screening of general genitourinary cancer has been studied for the use of faecal blood test. At present, the intestinal tract cancer is not screened very much.
Does cancer show up in a blood test?
In the future, cancer can be traced to changes in the blood, but so far no. If the doctor suspects cancer, he can send the patient to the blood tests. For example, the CEA tracer often rises in intestinal cancer, PSA in prostate cancer, and certain types of testicular cancer elevates hCG - the same tracer that tells a woman about pregnancy.
Some cancers decrease hemoglobin and some raise significantly the amount of white blood cells.
Should bowel scope screening be done for everyone at some point?
This is being discussed, as in some countries bowel scope screening is done to everyone over 50 years of age as a screening method for intestinal cancer. Intestinal tumors develop slowly and, if everything is fine at screening, it may be assumed that for a lifetime the risk of developing gastrointestinal cancer is minor.
Bowel scope screening has risks, and partly for this reason the fecal blood test could be a better screening method.
What kind of changes should you pay attention to?
Despite the mammography, a woman should feel her breast once a month and observe any visible changes with the mirror. Nodules, drops of skin and nipple as well as skin changes are reasons why you should go to a doctor.
Especially after menopause, abnormal bleeding from the vagina, post-intercourse bleeding, abdominal prolonged swelling or pain are symptoms that should be investigated. It is a good idea for a man to know his testicles. Enlargement and sudden pain may refer to testicular cancer. It can develop quickly, but even if it’s widespread in most cases it’s often easy to handle and cure. Testicular cancer can also be found in young men.
What kind of skin changes are a good reason to go to a doctor?
Flaky or flushing skin and a wound that does not want to be healed may be basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma or their precursors. In a skin mole very dark color, enlargement, bleeding, changes in color and shape, uneven edges, pruritus, or other sensations may refer to melanoma.
Which symptoms of urination and defecation may refer to cancer?
Our bowels are depleted according to your own individual rhythm. If there is a clear change in the rhythm, or the composition of the faeces changes, and the change can not be linked with eating or stomach ailment, seek medical consultation.
Other unspecific symptoms include blood in the urine or in faeces, dark blood-stained faeces, and difficulties or pain in urination or in defecation.
Pain tells about cancer?
A tumor in a tricky place can cause severe pain, such as a nerve pinching bone metastasis. In the gastrointestinal tract, the tumor may cause blockage resulting in wavy-like pain. The brain tumor may be symptomatic as a headache.
For example, in patients with breast-, prostate-, and intestinal cancer, pain is usually not part of the early stages of cancer. Pain is most common when cancer has spread. Fortunately, strong analgesics are very effective.
Should you apply for examinations at your own expense?
Examinations made just in case are like looking for a needle in a haystack.
There should be doubts, first of all, to be able to choose the right method, because the different methods look for different types of diseases. It is generally recommended to abide by healthy lifestyles, to move and exercise abundantly, to avoid being overweight, smoking and excessive alcohol use and sun UV radiation. These can prevent up to 40 percent of all cancers.
Who should test their genes?
About 5 to 10 percent of cancers have a strong inherited susceptibility. The most known carcinogenic genes are breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, which have a risk of about 40-70% of the risk of breast cancer and also an increased risk of ovarian cancer.
It is reasonable to suspect a cancerous genetic predisposition if there are many cancer patients in the same family: For example, a mother, grandma and aunt have breast cancer, or cancer appears at very young age, i.e. people aged 30-40.
If you suspect that your cancer risk is high, you should contact your local cancer counseling services and ask for a family report. If there is reason to suspect hereditary susceptibility, the person will be directed to a clinic for genetic engineering that evaluates the need for further studies such as genetic testing.