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How to detect the 10 most common cancers.

According to global cancer statistics 2020(International agency for research on cancer) in 2020 there were about 19.3 Million new cancer cases worldwide and 10.0 million deaths due to cancer.

Deaths from cancer can be reduced by detecting cancer early but you have to know what the early symptoms are to be able to know when to contact a clinician for tests.

Below is a guide on symptoms of the most common cancers:

  1. Cancer of the brain-Constant headaches six weeks+,vision impairment, imbalance walking,

  2. Cancer of the breast-Breast lumps, continuous breast pain usually one side, enlarged glands usually in armpit, breast skin changes particularly dimpling and eczema around the base of nipple and blood from the nipple.

  3. Lung Cancer-Chronic cough 3 weeks+,coughing up blood, breathing difficulties, weight loss.

  4. Stomach cancer-Upper Abdominal pain 3 weeks+,persistent nausea or vomiting, vomiting blood and weight loss.

  5. Bowel Cancer-Change in bowel habit eg chronic constipation or diarrhoea 3 weeks plus, blood in stool and weight loss.

  6. Kidney Cancer-Persisting Pain in the flank(waist area towards back),blood in the urine.

  7. Bladder Cancer-Blood in urine, persistent pain in the lower central abdomen, recurring urine symptoms eg frequency, pain passing urine, frequent urine infections.

  8. Prostate Cancer-Poor urine stream needing to strain at urination or No symptoms at all so routine exam of the prostate is recommended in males of males ages 40years and above.

  9. Cervical cancer-Bleeding from the vagina outside of normal menstrual period, bleeding after sexual intercourse, persistent abnormal vaginal discharge. Recommendation is to have regular routine cervical smears (at least every 3 years)which identifies changes before the cancer develops.Symptoms appear late when the cancer has developed.

  10. Leukemias (Blood Cancer)- Longstanding fatigue, anaemia unexplained, enlarged glands, frequent infections.

NB the above symptoms may also be caused by other medical conditions-so do not panic-The advice is not to ignore the symptoms but seek health advice from a qualified clinician.

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