A diagnosis of cancer can be devastating and shocking, particularly when the patient has exhibited little to no symptoms. It can be easy to overlook symptoms of cancer, and often they can be confused with less serious illnesses. Awareness of the possible presence of cancer during the early stages can significantly increase the chance of avoiding fighting advanced cancer.
For breast cancer regular self-examinations should be undertaken to check for changes in the breast tissue, and a lump will often be felt before any other symptoms develop. In much the same way a patient can examine other areas of the body to look and feel for signs of abnormality. If discovered early a small lump can be treated before it advances into a larger tumor. According to 2017 breast cancer statistics from the Cancer Research Institute over 1.5 million women around the world have or have had breast cancer. Many women who die from breast cancer could have avoided doing so with early detection. Though it is not 100% effective in discovering breast cancer in the early stages, doing regular self-examinations of the breasts improves a woman’s chance of survival.
Skin cancer often presents itself as itchy or tight skin and may appear red in color. This occurs as the immune system fights to break down the cancer, much as it would any unwanted bacteria. Any unexplained abnormality in the skin should be checked by a medical professional early.