The most common types of cancer and their symptoms. If you have them, go to the doctor
Cancer is a relentless disease of various types and forms that affects more and more people around the globe.
Discovered at an early stage, this condition, which has been on everyone’s lips in the last ten years, can be controlled, and the patient’s life expectancy is encouraging.
If the disease is detected at an advanced stage, the chances of survival longer than six months to a year are quite low.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women, affecting 1 out of 8 females. It usually occurs after menopause, but it can sometimes occur earlier.
This type of cancer has the highest incidence among women, but men are not completely circumvented by this form of the disease.
Only in the United States, nearly 2,000 people are diagnosed each year with breast cancer.
The most common symptoms are:
• Partial or total swelling of one of the breasts
• Irritations of the breast skin
• Dents or depressions in breast tissue
• Breast pain
• Nipple pain or nipple submergence in breast tissue
• Redness or thickening of the nipple or breast skin
• Atypical breast secretions
• Nodule formation in the axillary area
As breast cancer is common in women, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer in men.
It develops when cells in the prostate gland begin to grow abnormally and uncontrollably. This walnut sized gland, located to the lower end of the bladder, secretes seminal fluid. Unlike most other cancers, prostate cancer develops very slowly, it can debut and grow silently for several years, then manifest itself in strength and rapidly compromise urinary function. This phenomenon occurs when the prostate enlarges its size so much that it begins to affect the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the penis). According to statistics, 1 out of 8 men develop prostate cancer cells at one time.
The specific symptoms are:
• Increased frequency of urination, painful urination and a sense of incomplete urination
• Blood in the urine
• Erectile dysfunction
• Hip, back, or chest pain, if the cancer spreads to the bones
• Feeling of weakness or numbness in the legs
• Loss of control of urinary or intestinal function, due to the pressure exerted by tumour growth on the spinal cord.
This type of cancer affects the cervix, the lower part of the uterus, communicating directly with the vaginal canal. As a rule, cervical cancer does not cause any symptoms in the early stages. When it occurs, however, the symptoms may include atypical vaginal bleeding, usually after sexual intercourse, between menstrual cycles or after menopause.
Although irregular bleeding does not necessarily involve cervical cancer, the presence of these symptoms requires medical advice as soon as possible. If the treating physician suspects the presence of cervical cancer, contact an oncologist within a maximum of two weeks.
The most common symptoms of cervical cancer are:
• Atypical vaginal bleeding
• Vaginal leak with unusual distinctive smell
• Watery vaginal secretions
• Vaginal discharge accompanied by blood leakage
• Pelvic pain or back pain
• Pain during intercourse
• Urinary disorders
• Intestinal disorders
• Swelling of the legs
Oral or mouth cancer refers to the development of tumour formations on the surface of the tongue, in the mouth, on the lips or on the gums. More rarely, tumours may also occur in salivary glands, tonsils and pharynx. Cancer-like forms that originate in the skin or mucous membranes are called carcinomas, and they are further classified according to the type of cells they are exposed to.
The most common type of oral cancer is squamous cell carcinoma, accounting for 90% of cases. This type of cancer affects the squamous cells, located in several places of the body, including inside the mouth and in the outer layer of the skin. The most common symptoms include:
• Mouth or lips ulcer
• Pain or discomfort in the mouth
• The appearance of red or white spots in the mouth
• Nodule formation on the lips, tongue, or throat
• Bad breath
• Unexplained oral bleeding
• Numbness of the tongue or other parts of the mouth
• Tooth loss
• Changes in voice – hoarseness, lisps, or decrease in voice volume
Skin cancer is defined as an abnormal increase in skin cells, usually as a result of mutations caused by damage to skin cell DNA. There are many factors that can cause skin cells to rapidly multiply and form malignant tumours, most commonly UV sunbathing, artificial tanning, and genetic defects. The main three types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell skin cancer and melanoma.
Typical symptoms include:
• The appearance of hard, red nodules
• Bleeding of the skin
• The appearance of crusts or exfoliation
• Reddish and scaly spots
• The appearance of painless ulcers
• Raising of the skin level in the cancer-affected area
• Skin sensitivity to touch