Mrs. Subhash, 65 years old lady was complaining of some abdominal distension, with loss of weight and appetite, bloating of abdomen and some vague lower abdominal pain of 6-7 months duration. She was gradually going down and used to easily get tired in routine day to day chores. The family attributed it to old age as usually happens with elderly and after 8 months of her symptoms, she was taken to a doctor. USG of abdomen revealed bilateral ovarian solid cystic masses with fluid accumulation in the tummy and some deposits on the surfaces of intestines. The complete work up revealed a stage IV ovarian cancer where the cure was dismal. The family was aghast, shocked and kept on saying that she had been keeping good health always and had never seen a doctor in her lifetime. This is the story that all of us keep on hearing around us every day.
Here lies the whole problem. It happens because we see a doctor when symptoms have persisted for quite some time and we don’t understand the importance of regular health checkups in asymptomatic individuals. Sometimes people ignore symptoms. Maybe they don’t know that the symptoms could mean something is wrong. Or they might be frightened by what the symptoms could mean and don’t want to get medical help. Maybe they just can’t afford to get medical care. But no symptom should be ignored or overlooked, especially if it has lasted a long time or is getting worse. Most likely, symptoms are not caused by cancer, but it’s important to have them checked out, just in case. If cancer is not the cause, a doctor can help figure out what the cause is and treat it, if needed.
Also, we assume that cancer is a disease which cannot affect me .But unfortunately the truth is cancer can affect all of us whether we are a mother, daughter, father, son, friend, doctor, counsellor, health care-worker , rich or poor, American or Asian, young or old- it doesn’t discriminate.
As a cancer grows, it can begin to push on nearby organs, blood vessels, and nerves. This pressure causes some of the signs and symptoms of cancer. If the cancer is in a critical area, such as certain parts of the brain, even the smallest tumor can cause symptoms. But sometimes cancer starts in places where it won’t cause any signs or symptoms until it has grown quite large.
The best is to consult a doctor if you detect an abnormality in your body. Follow the 10 warning signs of cancer and prevent any complication by referring to specialists.