5 Keys to Early Cancer Detection

5 Keys to Early Cancer Detection

It is estimated that in 2018, doctors will diagnose more than 1,735,000 new cancer cases. Of that number, over 609,000 will die from the disease. Nearly 50% of all cancer cases, experts believe, would have been easier to treat or would not become inoperable with early detection. In 2014, Cancer Research UK reported that 46% of cancer patients reached an advanced stage of the disease by the time their condition was diagnosed.

Leading physicians at a top NYC hospital recommend that everyone should be screened regularly after age 40, at certain life milestones, and at the appearance specific signs and symptoms. Early diagnosis is key to surviving cancer. Here we will discuss the ways you can detect cancer early for the best chance of successful treatment.

  1. Know Your Family History

The single greatest indicator of potential cancer risk is a history of cancer in your family. You should be able to answer the following questions:

  • Do you have family members who developed cancer at an unusually early age?
  • Does more than one family member have a specific type of cancer?
  • What combinations of cancers have occurred in a family member (ie colon and skin cancer)?
  • Any genetic predispositions
  1. Examine Yourself

Self examinations are a good way to detect possible cancers between checkups. Check for unusual lumps by hand, and perform a visual examination of the entire surface of your skin. No one knows your body as well as you do. That means self examination could be your best early detection tool for many forms of cancer. Ask your doctor what to look for and make self examination a regular habit.

  1. Understand the Warning Signs

While self examinations are key, internal cancers are much harder to detect. Knowing the warnings signs is critical. If you detect one of the following early warning signs, schedule a screening as soon as possible.

  • Persistent sores
  • Unusual lumps
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Changes or disruptions on bowel or bladder function
  • Loss of appetite or persistent indigestion
  • Persistent or inexplicable fatigue
  • Fever
  • Persistent pain that cannot be explained
  • Chronic cough
  • Changes in the skin
  • Difficulty swallowing
  1. Regular Screenings

Every type of cancer comes with different timetables and risk factors. Also, each person’s specific risk profile for any given type of cancer is unique. In addition to self examination and knowing the warning signs- regular screening is essential. Attending physicians at Weill Cornell, one of the most highly awarded NYC hospitals, recommend timely screenings for specific cancers such as breast, colon, rectal, cervical and other common types.

  1. Healthy Living

Finally, the importance of healthy living cannot be overstated. Regular physical activity, healthy eating habits, and avoiding risk factors like smoking may be your best defense in the long term.

Categories: Health

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