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Usually, our bodies have a way of letting us know that something is not quite right with it. We could experience pain, numbness, tingling sensations or even physical abnormalities such as lumps or wounds that won’t heal, which show us that something is wrong and we need to go and see a doctor.

Sometimes when we encounter symptoms of an illness, it can cause fear of the unknown, and some people don’t want to see a doctor because they don’t want to hear the inevitable. However, with most illnesses early detection is important and the second you feel that something isn’t what it should be, you should pay a visit to a family medical centre in Spotswood or anywhere close to you and consult a doctor.

Cancers, like all other illnesses, show certain symptoms, of which we should be attentive. However, since there are so many different types of cancers around, the symptoms may vary according to where the cancer is located, its size, and how it affects the person’s organs and tissues. When cancer spreads, symptoms could appear anywhere on the body.

The more common types of cancers are:

  • Bladder Cancer.
  • Breast Cancer.
  • Colorectal Cancer.
  • Kidney Cancer.
  • Lung Cancer.
  • Lymphoma.
  • Melanoma – Skin Cancer.
  • Oral Cancer.
  • Pancreatic Cancer.
  • Prostate Cancer.
  • Thyroid Cancer.
  • Uterine Cancer.

Cancers can be caused by many factors, including:

  • Biological factors including age, gender and inherited genetic defects, as well as skin types.
  • Environmental exposure to radiation, UV rays, chemicals etc.
  • Occupational factors such as exposure to chemicals and radiation.
  • Lifestyle factors such as addictions to tobacco and alcohol, food-related factors and UV radiation from sunburn.

In the case of cancer, early detection is key to providing the right treatment, Therefore, if you have any of the following symptoms you should immediately visit your GP in Bayswater or a clinic close to you for further investigations.

The following symptoms are common to both men and women:

  • Loss of appetite – Cancer can change your metabolism which can cause you to not feel hungry. Certain cancers like pancreatic, ovarian and colon cancer can add pressure to your stomach which will make you feel bloated and full.
  • Blood in the urine – Kidney disease or stones could also make you pass blood with your urine, but so could cancer in the kidneys or bladder. It is best to get it checked immediately if you have this symptom.
  • Blood in the stools – Blood in your stools means there is bleeding internally from your intestines, stomach or oesophagus, and this could be quite dangerous. There are many diseases that cause bleeding in the stools including cancer, and this should be checked out immediately.
  • Extreme fatigue – Fatigue is a very common symptom of cancer. If you are feeling consistently tired and having more rest and sleep doesn’t make it go away, you need to see a doctor.
  • Persistent cough – Coupled with certain other symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain and weight loss, a persistent cough could mean that you may have lung cancer.
  • Persistent fever – Certain cancers such as lymphoma, leukaemia and liver or kidney cancer could cause a persistent fever that may rise and fall during different times of the day.
  • Changes to your skin – If you have an unnatural number of spots, moles or blemishes, and if they seem to be changing in size, colour, shape or has a crusty scab that doesn’t heal, you should visit a skin clinic and get it checked for skin cancer.
  • Lumps in the neck – These could mean you have mouth, throat or thyroid cancer, especially if the lump doesn’t hurt and doesn’t go away.
  • Lose weight rapidly – Many people with cancer lose weight very rapidly, although the cause of this is not yet clear. If you have been experiencing weight loss at a rapid rate, then it is best to get a GP in Bayswater or a clinic close to you to check it out.

There are also certain gender-specific symptoms of cancer that should not be ignored. Men with cancer may display the following symptoms:

  • Blood in the urine or semen.
  • Pain during urination.
  • Lump in the testicles.

Women with certain types of cancer may display the following symptoms:

  • Lumps in the breast, or a change in the size or colour of the breast or nipple.
  • Unexplained bleeding between periods, or after menopause.

There are many family medical centres in Spotswood and other cities that provide early cancer detection services. If you feel or have any unusual or unexplained symptoms it is always best to get it checked out.

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