Breast Cancer

Symptoms and Diagnoses:

Breast cancer symptoms vary widely — from lumps to swelling to skin changes — and many breast cancers have no obvious symptoms at all. Symptoms that are similar to those of breast cancer may be the result of non-cancerous conditions like infection or a cyst.

Breast self-exam should be part of your monthly health care routine, and you should visit your doctor if you experience breast changes. If you're over 40 or at a high risk for the disease, you should also have an annual mammogram and physical exam by a doctor. The earlier breast cancer is found and diagnosed, the better your chances of beating it.

The actual process of diagnosis can take weeks and involve many different kinds of tests. Waiting for results can feel like a lifetime. The uncertainty stinks. But once you understand your own unique “big picture,” you can make better decisions. You and your doctors can formulate a treatment plan tailored just for you.

Understanding Breast Cancer


How breast cancer happens, how it progresses, the stages, and a look at risk factors.
Screening and Testing


The tests used for screening, diagnosis, and monitoring, including mammograms, ultrasound, MRI, CAT scans, PET scans, and more.
Types of Breast Cancer


The different types of breast cancer, including ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC), inflammatory breast cancer, male breast cancer, recurrent breast cancer, metastatic breast cancer, and more.
Your Diagnosis


The characteristics of the cancer -- featured on your pathology report -- that might affect your treatment plan, including size, stage, lymph node status, hormone receptor status, and more.

For more links on Breast cancer

Prostate Cancer

Symptoms and Diagnoses:

Prostate cancer symptoms do not usually appear until the disease has advanced, and many times has already been diagnosed. However, there are symptoms you should watch aware of, especially signs and symptoms related to urination.
Urinary Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
The urethra is a small tube that runs from the bladder, allowing urine to exit the body. In men, the urethra is surrounded by the prostate, a walnut shaped gland responsible for producing semen. As prostate cancer advances, the prostate enlarges and contricts the urethra. The result is various difficulties with urination.

Urinary difficulties can be common prostate cancer symptoms, but can also indicate other non-malignant prostate problems, like BPH. Prostate cancer symptoms related to urination include:
burning or pain during urination
inability to urinate
frequent nocturnal urination
weak urine stream
blood in urine (either seen by the eye or microscopically, although less common)
Other Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
Urinary difficulties in men over 40 usually raises red flags for doctors to check the prostate gland for abnormalities. However, prostate cancer can cause some other vague symptoms. Non-specific symptoms that may accompany urinary symptoms include:
pelvic pain
back or hip pain
weight loss
What to Do If You Have the Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
You should see your doctor at the onset of any symptoms you may be experiencing. The delay in waiting for symptoms to "go away" could affect your treatment options and prognosis.

Again, other conditions and diseases cause symptoms similar to that of prostate cancer, especially an enlarged prostate. It is essential to see your doctor when you begin experiencing symptoms. Your doctor can detect any benign or malignant conditions early before treatment options may become more aggressive and limited.

For More information on Prostate Cancer

Lung Cancer

Symptoms and Diagnoses:

Lung cancer symptoms are commonly not experienced until the disease had advanced, sometimes delaying diagnosis. The symptoms of lung cancer also mimic the symptoms of other benign illnesses.

The most common lung cancer symptoms experienced are :

Onset of wheezing

Recurrent pneumonia or bronchitis

Shortness of breath

A persistent cough that does not go away

Coughing up blood

Hoarseness

Weight loss or loss of appetite


If you are experiencing any of the above lung cancer symptoms, please see your doctor. The symptoms described are also symptoms for many other illnesses. Consult your physician for a definitive diagnosis.

Cervical Cancer

Symptoms and Diagnoses:

Cervical cancer symptoms often go unnoticed because they mimic so many other ailments. Many women pass these symptoms off as PMS or ovulation pains. Many times, however, cervical cancer has no symptoms.

When symptoms are present, they usually do not appear until the cancer is more advanced. This does vary from woman to woman.
Cervical Cancer Symptoms
Abnormal bleeding. Women with cervical cancer may experience abnormal vaginal bleeding. This can be heavy or light bleeding during the month.

Unusual heavy discharge. An increased vaginal discharge is also a symptom of cervical cancer. It may be foul smelling, watery, thick, or contain mucus. It varies from woman to woman. It is important to report any unusual vaginal discharge to your doctor.

Pelvic pain. Pelvic pain that is not related to the normal menstrual cycle can be a cervical cancer symptom. Many women describe them ranging from a dull ache to sharp pains that can last hours. It can be mild or severe.

Pain during urination. Bladder pain or pain during urination can be a symptom of advanced cervical cancer. This cervical cancer symptom usually occurs when cancer has spread to the bladder.

Bleeding between regular menstrual periods, after sexual intercourse, douching, or pelvic exam. Bleeding after sexual intercourse, douching, or pelvic exam can be cervical cancer symptoms. This is due to the irritation of the cervix during these activities. While a healthy cervix may have a very small amount of bleeding, many conditions may cause bleeding after activities like sex.

Please keep in mind that these cervical cancer symptoms are also symptoms of many other illnesses. If you are experiencing these cervical cancer symptoms, please see a doctor. He or she will most likely do a pelvic exam and may order further tests.


Skin Cancer

Symptoms and Diagnoses:

Skin cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer. Excessive exposure to the sun's UV rays are the most common cause of the disease. In fact over 1,000,000 people are affected each year.

Skin cancer can be divided into three different types of cancer.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

These carcinomas are found usually in places on the body that have been exposed to the sun, like ears, the face and the mouth.

Symptoms include a bump that turns in to an open sore (ulceration, reddish, flat spot that is sometimes crusty, a bump that gets larger and a sore that won't heal.

Left untreated, it can spread quickly to other parts of the body, like the lymphatic system, bloodstream, and nerve routes.

Basal Cell Carcinoma

Accounting for more than 75% of skin cancers diagnosed, basal cell carcinoma is the most commonly developed skin cancer.

These carcinomas are most commonly found on the face, neck, and hands. It is considered highly treatable and rarely spreads to other parts of the body.

Symptoms include a sore that oozes or bleeds, a redness area that is irritated, a yellow or white area that resembles a scar, and a pink pearly bump.

Melanoma

Melanoma is the most dangerous and deadly type of skin cancer.It can develop on any part of the body, however the arms, legs and trunk are the most common area of the body. When detected early, it is considered highly treatable.

Symptoms include a mole, freckle, or new/existing spot that changes color in size, shape, and color. It may have an irregular outline and possible be more than one color.

Your best defense in preventing skin cancer is to avoid excessive exposure to the sun. When you are outdoors, be sure to always wear a sunscreen, and stay in a shady area if possible!


Colon Cancer

Symptoms and Diagnoses:

Colon cancer does not always present symptoms in the early stages. Colon cancer symptoms usually do not appear until the disease has progressed into an advanced stage. This makes colon cancer screening highly valuable -- it can detect colon cancer in the early stages, before symptoms begin to appear.
Blood in Stool:
Blood in the stool is a common symptom of colon cancer, but you can't always actually see blood that may be in the stool. Tests like the fecal occult blood test (FOBT) detect blood in the stool that may be unseen to the naked eye. It is also associated with less severe health problems, such as hemorrhoids and anal fissures.

Remember that some foods, like beets, watermelon, and red licorice can make the stools turn red. To be on the safe side, always report suspicious stool activity to your doctor.

Thin Stools:
The size of our stool gives us good insight to what may be going on in our bowel. Thin or ribbon-like stools can indicate that there may be an obstruction -- something is blocking the passage of stool, like a tumor. Other conditions may also cause thin stools, like a large benign polyp or hemorrhoids.

How thin is too thin? A thin stool is considered to be as thin as a pencil. If consistently notice thinner stools, even if they aren't as thin as a pencil, let your doctor know.

Constipation:
Constipation is a non-specific symptom of colon cancer. Frequent constipation can be the symptom of many things, more than likely a condition much less serious than colon cancer. However, chronic constipation can be serious, so it is important to let your doctor know. In reference to colon cancer, constipation occurs when a tumor is obstructing the colon.

Feeling Like You Have to Empty Your Bowel, Even When You Don't:
If you feel like you have to empty your bowel, even after just doing so or simply feel like there is something in your bowel, talk to your doctor. This symptom can indicate the presence of a tumor, which causes the bowel to feel full, even when it is not.

Abdominal Pain:
Abdominal pain is also vague symptom. This usually occurs when the colon is blocked by a tumor. Gas pains are also common because tumor obstruction doesn't allow the gas to travel properly through the colon to exit the body.

Fatigue:
Fatigue that last more than a few days can indicate a medical problem. In relation to colon cancer, fatigue is often related to anemia, because of blood loss in the stool. Like other symptoms of colon cancer, fatigue is a vague symptom and can be related to many other less serious conditions.

Talking to Your Doctor:
Many people feel shy to talk about bowel habits with their doctor. This can easily lead to a avoidable delay in diagnosing colon cancer. Remember, the earlier colon cancer is diagnosed, the easier it can be treated with a better prognosis.


Leukemia Cancer

Symptoms and Diagnoses:

Leukemia is a disease that affects both children and adults. It begins in the bone marrow and spreads to other parts of the body. Leukemia symptoms can occur all of a sudden or gradually progress.

The symptoms of leukemia are broad, but there are specific symptoms of leukemia to keep an eye out for:

fever
infection
excessive bruising
fatigue
physical exercise intolerance
abdominal pain, or generally feeling fullness
weight loss
abnormal bleeding
enlargement of the lymph nodes, spleen, and/or liver
weakness

Liver Cancer

Symptoms and Diagnoses:

Like many types of cancers, liver cancer does not usually cause any symptoms in the early stages. As the disease progresses, liver cancer symptoms begin to appear, prompting one to seek medical attention. Due to the delayed onset of symptoms, liver cancer is often diagnosed in an advanced stage.
Symptoms of Liver Cancer
jaundice (condition that causes the yellowing of the skin and eyes)
unintentional weight loss
loss of appetite
pain and/or discomfort on the right side of the abdomen
pain or discomfort that occurs in the right shoulder blade area

Other liver cancer symptoms that may be experienced are fever, general fatigue that is not relieved with rest, and nausea and/or vomiting. Symptoms can appear separately or together. 

These liver cancer symptoms can be nonspecific --if you have them, they do not exactly pinpoint liver cancer. However, they do alert your doctor that your liver and how it is functioning may need to be evaluated.
Symptom Checker: What Could Your Symptoms Mean?
When You Can't Get a Diagnosis
What Drinkers Need to Know About Alcohol Induced Liver Disease

There are no current recommended screening test for those at an average risk of liver cancer. Though this may aid in early detection, it is not very cost effective for the general population. People suffering from hepatitis or cirrhosis are most at risk of developing liver cancer and are monitored closely for physical signs and symptoms of the disease.


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