With the advancement in the field of medicine and surgical oncology, we have made large strides in the fight against cancer. Still, it is estimated that nearly 2.5 million people are living with this disease in India alone. More than 7 lakh new cancer patients are registered every year. Cancer is the sole reason for most number of premature deaths. Sometimes it can develop without showing any warning but, in majority of cases, there are warning signs. Early detection of possible signs of cancer can increase the odds of survival.
Some common statistics related to cancer:
- Estimated number of people living with the disease: around 2.5 million
Every year, new cancer patients registered: Over 7 lakh
- Cancer-related deaths: 5,56,400
Deaths in the age group between 30-69 years 
Total: 3,95,400 (71% of all cancer related deaths)
- Women: 1,95,300
Cancers of oral cavity and lungs in males and cervix and breast in females account for over 50% of all cancer deaths in India .
The top five cancers in men and women account for 47.2% of all cancers; these cancers can be prevented, screened for and/or detected early and treated at an early stage . This could significantly reduce the death rate from these cancers.
Although the precise symptoms can vary between each form of cancer, but some such as those of pancreas, may not show symptoms right away. Still, there are 7 possible warning signs to look out for. You can easily remember these signs by the word ‘CAUTION’.
Change in bowel or bladder habits:
Colon cancer may show signs like long-term constipation, diarrhea, or a change in the size of the stool. If your body is showing symptoms like pain when passing urine, blood in the urine, or a change in the bladder function (such as needing to pass urine more or less often than usual) can be related to bladder or prostate cancer. You must immediately report any such changes in bladder or bowel function to a doctor.
A sore that does not heal:
Skin cancer may cause bleeding that looks like a sore that don’t heal. A long-lasting sore in the mouth that doesn’t heal could be sign of oral cancer. People who smoke, chew tobacco or often drink alcohol should consult an oncologist right away in the case of developing such symptoms. If sores develop on penis or vagina, it may be a sign of infection or an early cancer, and must be consulted upon by a health professional.
Unusual bleeding or discharge:
These symptoms can be seen in early or advanced cancer. Coughing up blood may be a sign of lung cancer. Colon or rectal cancer can show signs like blood in the stool (which can look like very dark or black stool). Cancer of the cervix or the endometrium (line of the uterus) can show signs of abnormal vaginal bleeding. Blood in the urine may be a sign of bladder or kidney cancer. A bloody discharge from the nipple may be a sign of breast cancer.
Thickening of lump in the breast or other parts of the body
You can feel many cancers through the skin. Such cancers occur mostly in the breast, testicle, lymph nodes (glands), and the soft tissues of the body. If one notices an abnormal growth in size of a lump or thickening, it can be an early or late sign of cancer and should be reported to a doctor. It should be kept in mind that some breast cancers show up as red or thickened skin rather than a lump. In such cases you can contact some of the best Breast Cancer Doctor in Kolkata.
Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing:
If a person is showing symptoms like indigestion or swallowing problems that don’t go away, it can be a sign of cancer of esophagus (the swallowing tube that goes to stomach), stomach, or pharynx (throat). But like most of the symptoms on this list, it is highly likely to be caused by something other than cancer.
Obvious change in the size, color, shape or thickness of a wart, mole or mouth sore
If one observes any wart, mole, or freckle that changes color, size, or shape, or that loses its sharp border, then they should a doctor right away. Any other changes in skin should be reported, too. A skin change may be a melanoma which, if found early, can be treated successfully. For skin cancers and other skin conditions you van visit Cancer Specialists in Kolkata.
Nagging cough or hoarseness
A cough that refuses to go away can be a sign of lung cancer. Hoarseness can be a sign of cancer of the larynx (voice box) or thyroid gland.
The signs and symptoms listed above are the most common ones associated with cancer, but there are a lot more that are not listed here. If one notices any major change in the way body works or the way one feels- especially if it lasts long or gets worse- they can consult one of the best cancer doctor in Kolkata. If it has nothing to do with cancer, the doctor can provide more information about what’s going on and, if needed, treat it. Otherwise if it is infact cancer, you’ll give yourself another chance to have it treated early ata stage when treatment works best.