Prevention, early detection and treatment remain the core strategy in any anti-cancer program
By Dr. Herdee Luna
It has been said that knowing is half the battle! But we say that knowing and practicing healthy lifestyles (and healthy check-up with your doctor) contribute to lowering your risk of developing cancer. Here are the 10 warning signs of cancer that you need to be mindful of and check with your physician if any of these is present:
1. New lumps or growing lesions on your skin.
2. A bruise or a sore that does not heal.
3. A mole that changes in color, size, shape, or bleeds.
4. An ongoing cough or hoarseness that last longer than three weeks.
5. Difficulty in swallowing or indigestion.
6. A change in bowel or bladder habits without reasonable explanation.
7. Shortness of breath.
8. Loss of appetite.
9. Unexplained tiredness or weight loss.
10. Blood anywhere. It should not be found normally in urine, bowel motions, or from spitting.
Part of a healthy practice in preventing cancer is to do screening procedures. Screening means to check your body for cancer before developing cancer-related symptoms. Regular screening might detect breast, cervical, colorectal cancer at its earliest phase when treatment offers the highest chance for cure! Discuss with your doctor when and how often you’ll need to be screened depending on your personal history, family history, and your risk factors.
For breast cancer, mammograms detect breast lesions early which offer best chance for cure, when treated properly. For cervical cancer, the pap smear test looks for cancer cells and abnormal cells which could eventually develop into cancer. HPV DNA test can detect human papilloma virus which causes these abnormal cell changes. Treatment works best when cancers are detected early.
For colorectal cancer, screening tests (like colonoscopy) can detect abnormal growths (precancerous polyps) which can develop into cancer. Early removal of these abnormal growths offers the highest chance for cure.
For lung cancer, low-dose chest CT scan is recommended for those who had a heavy history of smoking, who smoke now, or those who quit for the past 15 years, and those who are aged 55-80 years.
Keep a healthy lifestyle! Depending on the advice of your doctor, you may improve on your conditioning exercises by doing brisk walks daily for 30mins. Put more healthy greens (vegetables) and fruits in your diet! Say no to cured or processed meats! Avoid alcohol drinks, smoking and second hand smoke! Get vaccinated with hepatitis B and HPV (cervical) vaccines! Take charge of your health! Stay fit and healthy!
Sept 2018 Health and Lifestyle