Ovarian cancer develops and spreads throughout your abdomen before it causes any symptoms
New Delhi: In some types of cancer, there are hardly any symptoms that you can make out. Hence, many times the diagnosis becomes difficult and the disease spreads fast enough to go out of hand.
Experts say that some cancers are diagnosed only after symptoms begin to develop and this can be the condition after the disease has spread or a tumour has grown large enough to be felt or seen in imaging tests.
According to Cancer Research UK, the best chance at survival and a healthy quality of life is possible only when the cancer is diagnosed and treated in its early stages.
Here are three cancers that are notoriously difficult to spot in the early stages.
Bowel or colon cancer develops from growths in your colon’s inner lining and spreads very fast to other areas of your body if undetected.
According to the National Institutes of Health, small bowel cancers are difficult to diagnose in the early stages and those suspected of having the ailment often need multiple tests and procedures to locate the cancer or rule it out. 1
Bowel cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. In 2020, more than 1.9 million new cases of colorectal cancer and more than 9,30,000 deaths were estimated to have occurred worldwide.
According to Bowel Cancer UK, the symptoms of this dreaded disease include:
- Bleeding from the rectum
- Changes in normal bowel habits like loose motions
- Going to the toilet more often
- Suffering extreme constipation
Many people suffering from bowel cancer are also diagnosed with a lump in their rectum or tummy, usually to the right-hand side.
Doctors say rapid weight loss and chronic stomach pain could also lead to the disease.
According to statistics, pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival rate of any common cancer across the world, with more than half of patients dying within three months of diagnosis.
It is the type of cancer that begins as a growth of cells in the pancreas, situated behind the lower part of the stomach.
The organ makes enzymes that help digest food and hormones that help manage blood sugar.
The NHS says top signs of the deadly cancer are mostly mistaken for another condition, which include:
- Dark coloured urine
- Constant back pain
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Lack of appetite
- Rapid weight loss
Many people also experience difficulty in swallowing food and constantly vomit or feel nauseous. Doctors say many patients also suffer from the symptoms of diabetes as the pancreas stops the production of insulin.
Ovarian cancer starts in your ovaries - organs in the female reproductive system where eggs form.
Ovarian cancer is sometimes difficult to detect because symptoms often do not develop until later stages, causing a lot of fatalities. Doctors say early detection is the only key to beating this silent killer.
According to Harvard Medical School, ovarian cancer develops and spreads throughout your abdomen before it causes any symptoms. 2
Some of the symptoms include:
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- Pelvic and abdominal pain
- Chronic bloating
- Not being able to eat and swallow food
- Less appetite
- Vaginal discharge or bleeding
- Changes in bowel movements
- Chronic diarrhoea or constipation
- Swelling in the abdomen
- Frequent urination