Why is the number of cancer patients on the rise?
We often hear that a dangerous diagnosis was a bolt from the blue, saying that the person was absolutely healthy, complained of a “harmless” pain in his shoulder – an inoperable tumor was revealed during the examination. Doctors say that our body has been giving signals about problems for a long time, but few people immediately pay attention to them … Meanwhile, the prevalence of cancer around the world is growing – by an average of a couple of percent per year. The increase in the incidence is associated with an increase in life expectancy (more often cancer is detected in the elderly). Plus improved diagnostics. That is, the disease is detected at earlier stages, which increases the chances of successful treatment, long-term remission. And yes, it is impossible to talk about the complete curability of cancer: despite the appearance of more and more new drugs, cancer cells quickly adapt to them. In any case, extending the patient’s life for a year or two is already a chance that a new drug will appear by this time. For physicians, it is important to translate cancer as an acute condition of the patient into a chronic disease that requires constant monitoring.
Cancer search tests
Despite the growing mortality from carcinoma, it is not possible to name unambiguous reasons for its occurrence. One thing can be said with certainty: the disease does not spare either the rich or the poor, the young or the elderly.
In one of the first places is heredity. If your close relatives have had cancer, it is in your best interest to take the appropriate tests annually. By the way, medical examinations suspended due to the pandemic include cancer research. These include:
mammography for women, which allows to detect neoplasms in the breast;
analysis of intestinal contents for occult blood by a sensitive immunochemical method to detect intestinal cancer;
smear from the surface of the cervix (screening) for early diagnosis of cervical cancer. Gynecologists never tire of repeating that this test, available at any antenatal clinic, can literally save the lives of many patients (this type of cancer does not make itself felt with symptoms for a long time).
What symptoms may indicate cancer?
If the signs of oncological diseases were unambiguous, then many would turn to oncologists on time, but in many cases the symptoms are characteristic of a variety of diseases. And yet, if a number of the listed signs are observed for a certain time, you should immediately consult a doctor:
- severe headaches (maybe you’re just a lot of nervous and this pain is from tension, but it’s better to check!);
- lumps in the chest that you found during palpation at home;
- blood in the urine;
- bleeding from the vagina;
- sudden weight loss without any diets;
- enlarged lymph nodes;
- prolonged cough without signs of a cold;
- back pain (may indicate pancreatic cancer);
- pain between the shoulder blades (may indicate cancer of the esophagus);
- fever that lasts longer than two weeks;
- changes in the size and color of moles;
- excessive sweating and constant fatigue.
To identify the tumor process in the body will help such tests as:
- general blood test for biochemistry;
- tests for tumor markers;
How to reduce the risk of getting cancer?
To this question, doctors, in principle, repeat the same recommendations, which are far from being followed by all.
It is necessary to give up fatty, fried foods (overweight people are always at risk), smoking (it increases the risk of lung cancer by 30%); do not abuse exposure to the sun, especially carefully monitor your health during pregnancy (hormonal disorders during this period increase the risk of acquiring such diagnoses), do not refuse breastfeeding (the lactation period is of great importance in the prevention of breast cancer), do not take hormonal drugs for a long time (Of course, it all depends on the diagnosis, but you should be aware of the risks), have only protected sex, regularly getting tested for infections. Even living with a permanent partner, because no one can be one hundred percent sure, statistics tell us.
But the most important thing: to make it a rule to undergo an annual medical examination and not to ignore the alarming signals of the body.
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