We’re all far too familiar with the term “cancer”, and although it’s a VERY scary subject to touch on, it’s something everyone needs to talk about because it can affect anyone at any time, and of any age, shape, or size! Even little babies can get cancer! 🙁
Well, in view of World Reverse Cancer Day, here are some important – and seemingly harmless – tell-tale signs that can help you distinguish whether or not you might have cancer:
1. Look out for lumps or growths that are painless
Very often, lumps and growths that are painful are cysts, a sprain, or bacterial infection and not a cause for concern. It’s the lumps and growths that don’t hurt that you need to worry about.
Cancerous lumps are also typically hard and large. These often appear in the breasts, testicles, or neck, sometimes even in your arms and legs. However, lumps and growths can also form within the body and are less easy to spot, like in the uterus.
2. Mouth or tongue ulcers that don’t go away
Ulcers are often formed when we bite the insides of our mouths and it is quite common especially if we have a tendency to chew fast or eat while talking. However, the inner lining of our mouths renews itself every two weeks, meaning ordinary ulcers should heal within that time. If you have ulcers that last about three weeks or more, you should give your GP or dentist a visit. It could by a symptom of mouth cancer. Yes, got such thing.
3. Unexplained weight loss even though you’ve been eating normally
Cancer can even cause a person to lose weight, so if you suddenly notice your pants loosening, or you lost a significant amount of weight – say, about 5kg – in a short period of time (and you aren’t on a diet), it’s best to get yourself checked out! Weight loss is a common symptom for lung, pancreas, stomach, or even esophagus cancer.
4. When you feel tired all the time despite getting enough rest
Feeling lethargic or tired foreshadows many serious illnesses, including depression, as well as cancer. If you find yourself feeling tired often, be sure to talk to your GP! Fatigue is actually an early symptom for leukemia. Colon or stomach cancers also cause blood loss, which results in fatigue.
5. Moles or warts that change in colour, shape or size
Getting moles and warts is completely normal; in fact, it’s hereditary as well. However, inherited moles are known as atypical nevi and these atypical moles are likely to develop into melanoma skin cancer. So, if you do have moles or warts on your body, be sure to take note of their colour, shapes and sizes. If any of these attributes change, it’s no harm to give your skin specialist a visit.
6. Change in your bladder function or bowel habits
If you’ve been having no trouble peeing and pooping, but are suddenly faced with prolonged diarrhoea, constipation, or change in size of your stool, it could be a sign of colon cancer.
When it comes to urinating however, if you feel pain while peeing or find blood in your urine, or perhaps you feel like you have to go more often than usual, this could be related to bladder or even prostate cancer.
7. Having stomach aches or feeling bloated often
Stomach aches and feeling bloated are common among Malaysians, especially for those who tend to overeat or eat too quickly. However, if your stomach constantly aches or you feel bloated for long periods of time, it could be caused by large amounts of fluid in your stomach or obstruction from scar tissues or tumours, which may all be caused by some form of stomach, colon or liver cancer.
8. Persistent cough that does not go away
Coughing is one of the most common colds faced by Malaysians. However, an average cough is not supposed to last more than three weeks. If it does, it could foreshadow Tuberculosis, Pneumonia, or worse, lung cancer. If you find yourself coughing more than three weeks and the doctor’s medications aren’t working, make sure you get yourself checked by a specialist!
9. Abnormal bleeding or dischargeSeeing a bit of blood in the toilet, on the outside of your stools or after wiping when you’re done can be alarming but not uncommon. More often than not, you’re probably pushing too hard to force your bowel movements and the bleeding is a result of a haemorrhoid. If however, the bleeding is consistent, it may be a symptom of colon cancer. Either way, it wouldn’t hurt to pay your proctologist a visit.
Similarly, if there is unusual bleeding or smelly and slimy discharge between periods, after menopause and during intercourse (for women), or unusual bleeding in other bodily fluids like your saliva or phlegm, it could be warning signs of various forms of cancer. Unusual bleeding is never a good sign so do check in with your doctor to make sure it’s really nothing serious!
That’s not all! There are still countless other symptoms that could indicate cancer, and the more you know the better! Knowing what symptoms to look out for, or going for regular check-ups at the hospital could help detect cancer early, and the earlier you detect it, the easier and faster it is to treat.
So, if you want to know more and learn how to better protect you and your loved ones, do take part in the World Reverse Cancer Day event happening this weekend! Organised by Cancer Research Malaysia (CRM), this non-profit research organisation hopes to build an awareness around the importance of cancer research and why it is needed to cure this deadly disease.
Expect a number of interesting, educational workshops on immunotherapy, genetics, screenings and more; plus, fun activities for the whole family! Event details below:
Date: 31 March – 1 April 2018
Time: 10am – 2pm
Venue: APW, Bangsar
You can also show your support by taking part in the #Reverseforcancer social media reverse video contest! All you have to do is:
- Shoot a ‘Rewind’ video (you can use Instagram Stories for this)
- Include the hashtag #Reverseforcancer
- Include this caption “Reversing this video is easy, unlike reversing cancer. However, you can be the spark that ignites the fire in fighting cancer, and the team at Cancer Research Malaysia needs your help! I’m challenging my friends (tag three friends) to take up the #reverseforcancer video challenge; alternatively you’ll have to donate to Cancer Research Malaysia! Stand a chance to win prizes worth up to RM5,000 for the most creative submission. Find out more at www.cancerresearch.my“
- Post! (Make sure your account is Public)
The most creative video will win prizes worth up to RM5,000!
Here’s an awesome reverse video by Dan Khoo himself!
Additionally, you can show your support by updating your profile photo too! Here’s how:
- Take a selfie
- Add your username on the image but make sure to reverse it (e.g. @sarahtan = tansarah@)
- Include the hashtag #Reverseforcancer on the image too
- In the caption, get your friends to join you at the World Reverse Cancer event! (e.g. “I’m reversing my name to #reverseforcancer in support of Cancer Research Malaysia and I’d like to encourage you to do the same. Join me at World Reverse Cancer Day between 31 March and 2 April @ APW Bangsar and learn how Cancer Research Malaysia is striving to reverse cancer.“)
- Post on Instagram and/or Facebook!
So, make sure you drop by APW, Bangsar this weekend to educate yourself and learn more about cancer! It might just save your life.
Find out more about Cancer Research Malaysia or donate to this cause here!