Cancer is a chronic disease in which body cells grow abnormally(proliferate) and spread out of control to other parts of body.
Cancer isalso referred to as a swelling (tumour) or new growth (neoplasm). It beginsin your cells, which are the building blocks of your body.
Most cancers are named for where they start. For example, lung cancer
starts in the lung, and breast cancer starts in the breast.
However, cancer can affect any part of the body and destroy both surrounding structures and spread to any part of the body.
Different cancers present differently. It is advisable to consult a health
worker for all illnesses because even what appears to be a common illnessmay be cancer.
Commonly however, cancer can present as a swelling or amass in any part of the body, unusual loss of blood from the body, bodypains or aches, body weakness, unusual fevers and weight loss.
In mostcases, presentation depends on the system or organ affected by thecancer.
For example cancer of the gullet will present with swallowing problem,
cancer of the stomach will present with heart burn, cancer of the lung will present with cough and difficulty in breathing.
The commonest generalpresentations are recurrent fevers, weight loss and fatigue. In most casesthese symptoms are recurrent and not responsive to the usual treatmentyou are used to for these symptoms.
This usually causes delay in making diagnosis since most people first treatthemselves and after failing then they see a doctor
The first step in cancer prevention is identification of risk factors and
reduce exposure to these factors through behaviour change or instituting
- Eating foods rich in fruits and vegetables and low in fats and oils
- Increasing your level of physical activity(exercise)
- Not smoking either active or passive smoking
- Not drinking alcohol
- Go for vaccination against hepatitis B and HPV (cancer of the cervix for girls and women)
- Go for routine check up for prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women when u visit a doctor