Early diagnosis is the key

Early diagnosis is the key
Highlights

It is particularly relevant for cancers of breast, cervix, oral cavity, colon, rectum, and skin There are...

It is particularly relevant for cancers of breast, cervix, oral cavity, colon, rectum, and skin cancerThere are two major components of early detection of cancer. That is education to promote early diagnosis and screening. Recognising possible warning signs of cancer and prompt action leads to early diagnosis. Increased awareness of possible warning signs of cancer, among physicians, nurses and other health care providers as well as among general public, can have great impact on the diseases. Some early signs of cancer include lumps, sores that fail to heal, abnormal bleeding, persistent indigestion, and chronic hoarseness. Early diagnosis is particularly relevant for cancers of the breast, cervix, oral cavity, colon and rectum, and skin. Screening refers to the use of simple tests across a healthy population in order to identify individuals who have disease, but do not yet have symptoms. Screening programmes should be undertaken in India only when resources (personnel, equipment, etc.) are sufficient to cover nearly the entire target group, when facilities exist for confirming diagnoses and for treatment and follow-up of those with abnormal results, and when prevalence of the disease is high enough to justify the effort and costs of screening. How to identify persons at risk for cancer? Especially ask if other members of the family have a history of cancer.
High risk groups for cancer affliction:
  • Tobacco users (smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco )
  • Chronic Alcoholics, Chronic liver disease ( especially cirrhosis )
  • People with lack of exercise, high fat diet and / or obesity.
  • Persons occupationally exposed to chemicals that can cause cancer.
  • Populations consuming spicy food, smoked eatables, low fiber diet.
  • Depending on the age and the risk factors, we need to screen for certain types of cancers. Screening means identifying cancer before it is symptomatic. We recommend that people who are at high risk or have a family history of cancer be screened regularly. The recommendations vary for different cancers.
Colon And Rectal Cancer: Most colorectal cancers begin as a polyp. At first, a polyp is a small, harmless growth in the wall of the colon. However, as a polyp gets larger, it can develop into a cancer that grows and spreads. The following warning signs should not be ignored:
  • Bleeding from rectum.
  • Blood in the stool or in the toilet after a bowel movement.
  • A prolonged change in the consistency of the stool (such as diarrhea or constipation lasting several weeks)
  • Cramping or pain in the lower abdomen.
  • A feeling of discomfort or an urge to have a bowel movement when there is no need to have one.
  • Unintended weight loss.
  • High risk groups for colo-rectal cancers:
  • A personal history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps
  • A personal history of chronic inflammatory bowel disease (crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis)
  • A strong family history of colorectal cancer or polyps (cabcer or polyps in a first-degree relative [parent, sibling, or child] younger than 60 or in 2 or more first-degree relatives of any age)
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