Cancer is defined by the Arcus Dictionary as any malignant growth or tumor caused by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division; it may spread to other parts of the body through the tissue fluid system or the blood stream. It sounds like something bad because it actually is. It’s a collection of cells that has only one purpose — to take over everything in the body just like Pinky and the Brain. However, unlike those with hopes and dreams, cancers have ways and means, a terribly odious team of cells always up with a scheme.
Most of us know that much can be done if cancers are found early. Unfortunately, most patients with cancer don’t get to see the doctor until it’s quite late. This article sheds light on the reasons why we catch cancers late.
1. Most cancers do not cause symptoms until late due to the phenomenal resilience and immunity that our bodies have. In essence, our T cells and Natural Killer cells keep fighting until they get overwhelmed and then… The cookie begins to crumble. This is why, regular checkups which lead to early detection of cancer are a must.
2. Prostate cancers usually develop from the outside layers far from the tube, which carries urine out of the body (urethra). Hence before obstructive urinary symptoms like straining, feeling of incomplete bladder emptying and urinary retention begin, the tumour has already grown almost through the entire structure. By the time it spreads to the spine and the complaint of back pain reaches a maximum, where it is no more relieved by pain relievers and ‘opayin’ it’s a few steps notes short of a dirge if emergency treatment isn’t instituted.
3. Most stomach cancers do not have any major symptoms except loss of appetite, acid reflux, stomach pain , feeling of fullness which many of us may relate to a bout of indigestion or a stomach infection. By the time weight loss and vomiting of blood start… A lot of water has passed over and under the bridge. Intestinal tumours are not better. Right sided ones bleed gradually causing weakness and dizziness. They often self medicate and get treated for Malaria and Typhoid with all the drugs in the market before a doctor ties it all together and decides to dig a little deeper. Left sided ones alternate constipation with loose stools and lots of mucus. They would often have taken their body weight in flagyl from their friendly neighborhood drug store before realizing that this is no mere infective for…
4. Kidney cancer never has symptoms at an early stage. This cancer is a master dribbler. It’s fondly called the internist’s tumour because it produces certain substances that act on different organs causing health workers to keep chasing after shadows. Symptoms of very high blood levels, constipation, excessive urination and other features of high calcium levels in blood as just the tip of the ice berg in the wild goose chase that makes doctors miss cancers of the kidney.
5. Early stage liver cancer symptoms are often pain on the right side of the abdomen, loss of appetite as well as dizziness, redness and itching from very high blood levels, not to mention recurrent features of low blood sugar.Needless to say that these vague symptoms often go uninvestigated till the weight loss and bleeding sets in… Not the way you wanna go out. Trust me.
We’ll round this up in another intriguing article. Pls join us as we present the remaining five reasons why cancers are caught late.