Change in nails could be liver cancer
Change in nails could be liver cancer, liver cancer, Headache. It is surprising how some patients are not satisfied with their doctor and keep on changing doctors expecting instant results.
Most of us experience cough, cold, fever and indigestion. However, if the symptoms persist despite a healthy lifestyle, get it checked as these seemingly harmless symptoms could be an indication of an underlying cancer.
Illiteracy, ignorance, busy life, inaccessibility to medication, unaffordable treatment, consultations with doctors on phones, over-the-counter medication are some of the reasons for severity of cancer. Abuse of antibiotics, painkillers, ‘internet medical knowledge’ etc also turn situations worse. Thus cancer is often noticed belatedly.
It is surprising how some patients are not satisfied with their doctor and keep on changing doctors expecting instant results. There are also some who adopt “I don’t care approach’ who simply ignore the symptoms. A look at symptoms one must on ignore:
Headache: It is normal to suffer from migraine or headache often due to disturbances, work pressure, hot sun, some kinds of smells, hunger and indiscriminate use of medicines. However, severe symptoms over a prolonged period can indicate something like cancer. Watch out for heaviness of head on getting up in the morning, severe pain, frequent vomiting, nausea-like symptoms could be indications for brain tumours.
Sore throat: Cold foods, climate, change of place and drinking water are often cited as reasons for sore throat and pain. However, if the pain persists despite the use of course of medicines, patients must remember that these are also symptoms of thyroid cancer, neck-related cancer, lung cancer are alike.
Cough, laboured breathing: Smokers generally opine that these symptoms are common for them. It is better if they know that they are more vulnerable to other different kinds of cancers apart from lung cancer. Throat irritation, uncontrolled cough, bloody sputum, difficulty in breathing may be the symptoms of TB or lung cancer.
Gaseous and ulcerous stomach: Untimely meals, unhealthy food, frequent mouth watering, insomnia, tension are indications for an unhealthy stomach. Many people use antacids, OCT medicines, outdated prescriptions and continue doing so even if there is no improvement. If patients face digestive problems despite following healthy lifestyle, going through checks for stomach cancer is necessary.
Anomalous urinary system: Bloody urine, obstruction in urinary flow, and pain etc; symptoms are generally presumed as rise in temperature of the body. These symptoms normally occur due to drinking inadequate amount of water, infections, kidney stones-like factors. This may be cancer of urinary bladder, especially when the above symptoms are severe and not amenable to treatments. Symptoms of those with prostate gland and cancer people above 50 years of age are often similar to those mentioned above. Menses in the middle of the month, bloated stomach, lack of appetite may be mistaken as pre menstrual problems by women (PMS). But this may be ovarian or uterine cancer some times.
Anomaly in excretory system: Symptoms include indigestion, dysentery, bloody stools, piles, fissures, fistula like problems due to changed food habits. It is a grave blunder to treat bloody feces as piles and ignore it with palliatives or tackling it by approaching quacks. These symptoms could be that of colon cancer, prevalent in south Indian men. The actual problem can be found out with tests like sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy.
In India, when patients experience severe fatigue, hunger, loss of weight, long lasting fever etc, people become superstitious and perceive it as “evil air” ‘demon’s effects,’ “sorcery’ etc. Instead of seeking treatment, they chant mantras or do idol worship like unscientific methods obstinately with vain results. By the time they realise and go for tests, it will be too late to set things right. The deadly cancer spreads to other parts. Tumors seen in breasts for a long time are often grossly neglected presuming they are generally seen in every woman. There is every danger of it spreading to other parts.
It may be blood cancer if fatigue, anemia, brown scars on skin are noticed frequently. Changes in nails may be indications for liver and lung cancers. Do not ignore scars and changes on skin.
(The doctor is MS (Gen), DNB (Surg), Mch (Surg Onco), FRCS, (Edin) Diploma in lap surg (France) Chief Surgical Oncologist, Vamsy1964@gmail.com 9848011421)