by Pete Davignon
reprinted with permission from Senior Softball News
Possible Body Signals of Cancer
Summer 2017 Edition
There are many ways your body can signal you that a cancer may be present. Men have urinary issues as we get older. More frequent urination, leaks or even a weak stream normally are signs of enlarged prostate, but it also could mean cancer.
You have small, bean-shaped glands in your neck, armpits, and other places in your body. When they are swollen it means your could have an infection, a cold, or strep throat. Cancers like lymphoma and leukemia also can cause this kind of swelling.
If you see blood in the toilet after you go, talk to your doctor. A bloody stool is likely to come from swollen, inflamed veins called hemorrhoids, but it could be colon cancer. Blood in your urine could be a problem like a urinary tract infection, but it also may signal kidney or bladder cancer.
Find a lump or swelling in your testicles, you need to see your doctor right away. A painless lump is the most common sign of testicular cancer. You may just have a heavy feeling in your lower belly or scrotum or your testicles feel larger.
Trouble swallowing can be a sign of cancer in your throat or the pipe between your mouth and stomach called the esophagus. Tests like a barium X-ray will show your throat on the image.
From bad breath to canker sores, most changes in your mouth are not serious. But if you have white or red patches or sores in your mouth that don't heal after a couple of weeks, especially if you smoke, it may be a sign of oral cancer. Look for a lump in your cheek, trouble moving your jaw, or mouth pain.
It is not normal to lose 10 pounds or more without trying. There's a chance it could be a first sign of cancer of the pancreas, stomach, esophagus, or lung. You can slim down when you change the way you eat or exercise. It can also happen if you have stress or a thyroid problem. If indigestion doesn't stop, it could be a sign of stomach cancer.
Fatigue is one early sign of some cancers like leukemia. Some colon and stomach cancers can cause blood loss that you can't see which can make you feel very tired. If you're wiped out all the time and rest doesn't help, talk to your doctor.
A new spot on your skin or one that changes size, shape, or color could be a sign of skin cancer. Another is a spot that doesn't look the same as all the others on your body.
If you have a nagging cough that doesn't go away or you cough up blood, especially if you are a smoker, see your doctor to check for lung cancer.
Prevention Through Lifestyle Choices
Cancer prevention has meant reducing risks through lifestyle choices. Researchers are working to find a medical solution to cancer prevention. there are more than 33 types of cancer and they do not all respond to the same treatment. You can take a pill to lessen the risk of heart disease and stroke, but science has not yet progressed as far with cancer, but they are getting closer.
It is estimated that 30 to 50 percent of cancers could be prevented or delayed by using the tools we already have--diet, exercise, not smoking, limit alcohol, protect yourself from ultra violet light, regular medical exams, and cancer screening.
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